Monday, 30 March 2009

Secrets, boasting and good deeds

I have this idea that good deeds should be done in secret, without showing off - and so they should. We shouldn't boast about what we do. Yet Jesus says we shouldn’t keep the good that we do a secret:

Here's another way to put it: You're here to be light, bringing out the God-colours in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We're going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don't think I'm going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I'm putting you on a light stand. Now that I've put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you'll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:15-17, The Message)

Paul adds (1 Timothy 5:24-25) The sins of some men are obvious, reaching the place of judgment ahead of them; the sins of others trail behind them. In the same way, good deeds are obvious, and even those that are not cannot be hidden.

James has the last word: Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. (3:13)

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