I just want to let off steam with this post. I’ve been part of a discussion tonight about whether an organisation should mention God to people at a crisis time in their lives. Someone very firmly in the no camp told me she had read a quote from the Bible (Matthew), saying that when we do things for God, we should do them quietly. Only when I came home and had time to think about what she’d said did I realise she had taken the quote totally out of context! Let me explain.
“Take care! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired, for then you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. When you give a gift to a beggar, don’t shout about it as the hypocrites do—blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you in all earnestness, they have received all the reward they will ever get. But when you do a kindness to someone, do it secretly—don’t tell your left hand what your right hand is doing. And your Father, who knows all secrets, will reward you.
“And now about prayer. When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who pretend piety by praying publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. Truly, that is all the reward they will ever get. But when you pray, go away by yourself, all alone, and shut the door behind you and pray to your Father secretly, and your Father, who knows your secrets, will reward you” (Matthew 6:1-6).
Those verses are all about the motives behind our actions. They teach about being humble and not showing off, but they’re nothing whatsoever to do with the message of God’s love! Jesus wouldn’t want us to keep that quiet! Have a look at this:
“You are to go into all the world and preach the good news to everyone, everywhere” (Mark 16:15). What’s Jesus saying? Spread it around! Put it in your leaflets! Get on the streets! Wear your “I Believe” sweatshirts! Do everything you have to – just tell them about Me!
Of course people want to be helped in a crisis; they don’t want all words and no action, but our words are important. “Has the Lord redeemed you? Then speak out! Tell others he has saved you from your enemies” (Psalm 107:2).
And a sobering thought: If you maintain you don’t want God involved, maybe you should consider this. “Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven; but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven” (Matthew 10:32-33).