Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Matthew 6:4b
Spiritual disciplines are activities Christians have been doing for centuries. Christians practice the disciplines in concert with the Holy Spirit to train ourselves to be godly and to mold us into the character of Jesus. This month’s spiritual discipline is Secrecy. Secrecy is deliberately choosing to do the right thing without seeking recognition. Perhaps, even taking steps to ensure people don’t find out about it.
Jesus introduces this concept in the Sermon on the Mount by contrasting two ways of living. There’s the way of the religious leaders, who do the right things for the wrong reasons. They do something to get recognized by the people around them. Then there’s Jesus’s way of doing the right thing because one trusts in God. Jesus instructs his followers to do something solely for the recognition of God. It’s doing the right thing without self-promotion (Philippians 2:3). It trains the heart to leave any public recognition up to God.
The discipline of secrecy reminds us of what is important. It trains us to trust God instead of putting our trust in the people around us. It helps us recognize that our character is what matters. We live in a culture of self-promotion. We tell people what we’ve done, what we are doing and what we plan on doing. We cultivate an image through our actions and what we talk about. We may even take extraordinary measures to present ourselves in a way that impresses others. If we’re honest, many of us would have to admit we act similarly to how the religious leaders did. Secrecy can help us push back against the culture of self-promotion and lean into a life of trust. It can radically reshape our character into the character of Jesus.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Think about where you might need to begin the discipline of secrecy in your life. Often choosing to focus on one area will help you begin to develop the discipline. Maybe start at work, home or school. Perhaps you try it at church or in your small group. Pick an area and work toward limiting sharing when you do the right thing. When you are drawn to share, take a moment and talk to God, asking him to help you trust that he saw it.
2023 SPIRITUAL PRACTICES
Join us all of 2023 developing a different spiritual practice each month. SPIRITUAL PRACTICES are intentional regular activities to deepen our relationship with God and mold us to be more like Jesus.
May is SECRECY. Keep track of our spiritual practices at beyondtheweekend.org/spiritualpractices.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.