A lot of life’s most important questions are also the most simple and basic.
Because this is so, our prideful egos tend to dissuade us from approaching questions so “elementary”, so simple. We would like to think of ourselves as above that! When in reality, simple does not mean easy. So due to all of this, unfortunately many people walk through life with no real, concrete answers. They have traded Truth for good appearances and a false sense of control.
The question, “Who do you serve?” may be taken in the general sense, but this question should be asked all the time, in regards to specific actions.
Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.Matthew 6:1-4 NKJV (Jesus speaking)
I decided to meditate on this passage recently, and the result was one of those “ah-ha!” moments.
On first thought, you may be tempted to assume that what matters most in every action of servitude is what shows outwardly. After all, your loved one can only see the work of your hands, and cannot read your mind. But on second thought, you may find your inner compass points the other way- inward.
Here’s an example of what I mean: say a loved one asks you for a favor. This is a favor you do not want to do, but you do it for them anyway, because they are your loved one. While you did ultimately surrender and do the work, and yes, love did motivate you… You cannot refuse to acknowledge your state of mind. If you allowed yourself to think begrudging, negative thoughts as you completed the task, God sees that. If you’re being unmindful by only yearning to be finished, God sees that.
And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality.Colossians 3:23-25 NKJV
I keep confusing that passage for the first passage I brought up, since they really complete each other.
Learning this in my own life has really shown me how mindfulness and following God go hand in hand.
As a result of applying this concept to my life, I’ve grown to be much happier in day to day moments. I also have found that it opens up a door to experience more of God’s goodness! Plus, it doesn’t hurt to know that the fruits of my labor are being sent to God, rather than people! Of course, this is only the case in situations where I do it right- and I’m obviously not perfect.
Which is greater- the temporary applause of a crowd, or God’s eternal reward?