11 January 2013
THINGS DONE IN SECRET...AND IN THE OPEN
But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth. - Matthew 6:3 (KJV)
One of the things that I want to do this year is participate “daily” in engaging in my world through random acts of kindness (“RAOK”). The acts don’t have to be big, or cost a lot (or any) money – all they have to be is … random.
So far, I have been pretty successful. I have randomly bought coffee for a person standing behind me in line at my neighborhood Starbucks. I’ve purchased pizzas and delivered them as a surprise lunch to the post office employees where my mail is delivered every day. I have written (and mailed) numerous cards – thinking of you, get well, thank you, birthday – you name it, I’ve probably sent one out already this year. Small things that I pray have brought smiles to faces, brightened gloomy days, and touched a heart or life in a special, significant way.
Today, I posted a status about the pizza delivery with my friends on Facebook. Probably not the best move.
All of the comments in response to the status post have been wonderful – and complimentary. Which, on some level, embarrasses me since my reason for posting the status was not for accolades or congratulations or statements of “you are so wonderful.” Not even a little bit. It really and truly was posted to share the reaction to the gesture with my friends. The looks of surprise and thanks from a group of people who are often publicly reviled as being lazy or hostile or any number of other negative things. Postal workers don’t get enough love, if you ask me. Another reason for the status post was to hopefully encourage others to step outside their personal comfort boxes and take small steps to share themselves with their world.
As the accolades and commendations poured in (27 likes and 6 comments at last count as I write this blog), I was reminded of Jesus’ words in the first few verses of Matthew 6. He tells us that when we do stuff, we should not stand up and tell everyone what we have done. Matthew 6:1 (KJV) says: “Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.” I believe the key words in this text are “to be seen of them”. In other words, it all boils down to “motives” when it comes to doing good deeds. Are you / Am I doing the deed so that others can say, “Ooo, look at what a great Christian (or person) she is!” ? If that is the case, then shame on you and shame on me.
The Bible further tells us in Matthew 6:4 (KJV), “That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret Himself shall reward thee openly.” In other words, it may not be my “job” to encourage others to show kindness randomly by posting/sharing what I have done. I just need to do it, and let the chips … or, in this case, blessings … fall where they may.
So, having said that, I believe that going forward, I won’t post statuses about my RAOK. I will log them in my journal and keep them close to my heart. I will also choose to believe that I have great friends – and that maybe they will read this blog post and make a decision within their own hearts to randomly touch the lives of those around them in positive, meaningful, heart-rich ways.
©2013 Kristina E. Smith