Your Best Work in Secret
“And these they brought before the apostles; . . .” Acts 6:6
There are no superstars in God’s kingdom, though some strive for fame in ministry by accumulating followers on digital media, or being on television. While others politic, promote, and position themselves to be known by all the influencers. Most people cannot relate to such pursuits, because we are not speakers or celebrities. But, there is a lesson here for us all.
We do want to be recognized for our service, appreciated for what we have contributed to the church. And when we feel we are not properly valued or esteemed, offense can set in our heart. The slap in the face is a personal blow to our ego, and the hurt can hijack our effectiveness.
The list of names given in verse 5 we know little about, except we are told they were selected to serve and they were brought before the apostles. Some have speculated whether they were Hebrews or Greeks, or if they were a part of the seventy that was sent out by Christ, or the hundred and twenty who first gathered in the upper room in Jerusalem.
It’s the silence of the text which speaks the loudest. In our paparazzi-crazed culture, we need to realize the people who make up this list ministered in obscurity. They did their best work in secret with only God as their audience. This is the way God works in the lives of the ones He has called.
Joseph spent years tending prisoners in a dungeon. His leadership skills were crafted while in lock-up. Moses spent forty years on the back side of a remote corner of a small town. In total obscurity, God was constructing an incredible man of influence. Jesus spent thirty years performing menial carpentry projects, yet emerged as the one who made disciples that would change the world. Jesus did His greatest miracles and healing in front of small groups.
If you feel overlooked, if you feel your work has been unappreciated and under-valued, just remember, so was Jesus.
Stay faithful in well-doing, because it matters to God.