Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: The Writer's Challenge (NOT the FaithWriters Challenge) (06/10/10)
TITLE: Doing in Secret
By Edmond Ng
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so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. (Matthew 6:4 NAS)As a freelance writer, my livelihood depends on being paid to write. Getting paid for work done, however, does not usually come until after the article is published, and this can mean several months of waiting. Editors of most publications expect all content for publishing to be ready months ahead so as to provide time for editing, layout and artwork. Given such a scenario and the irregularity of freelance writing assignments, it is therefore unwise that I should rely solely on getting paid for my written works to keep my family and I alive. The next best thing for me to do is of course to look for other more regular writing related work, such as corporate writing or ghostwriting.
Ghostwriting, as the name implies, is about writing a piece of work on behalf of someone else. The writer is the ghost and the person who hires the writer is the owner and author credited for the written work. Much of the information and ideas for the written content usually comes from the hirer, and the ghostwriter’s responsibility is to write and collate all the information gathered and make sense out of it into a written format, readable to the targeted audience.
Ghostwriting is a service frequently in demand, and although it is one of the less glorifying jobs a writer can do for a living, its monetary compensation is often quite good. As a ghostwriter, however, one does not get the satisfaction of seeing one’s own name in print. What is seen instead is someone else claiming authorship to the written work. This can sometimes be challenging and even painful for the ghostwriter who puts in enormous amount of effort, only to disclaim association with it at the end.
Like ghostwriting, many of us may serve the Lord in our own quiet ways, in church, ministries or other Christian activities. Some of us may serve in the ministry of helps (1 Corinthians 12:28), such as administration, flower arrangement to beautify church environment, navigating onscreen slide show for display of song lyrics during church service or other considerable insignificant tasks. Such responsibilities may seem mundane and unimportant to some, yet without them, many of us may find it less conducive to worship God.
I myself used to serve in a small church as a helper administering the sound system. Every week, I would arrive early to the rented place where the church service was to be held, and set up the public address system for use by the speaker, worship leader, musicians and choir members. After the service, I would stay behind to keep the equipment and transport it down from the highest floor of the building to the church office at ground floor. Few people knew this was being done by me week after week for several years, yet it was something that had to be done in order for the service to run smoothly.
Our efforts for the things we do may sometimes never get acknowledged, and this can be trying and even painful at times. We can be assured however that whatever we do for the Lord in secret is not unknown to Him (Matthew 6:4). Every single thing we do—big or small—is significant in the sight of God because He knows and sees our hearts (Jeremiah 17:10). He will give to each of us our just rewards according to our deeds (Matthew 6:4; Jeremiah 17:10).
In whatever we do, therefore, let us not seek merely to be noticed by men (Matthew 6:1-2). Instead, let us when we give, do so in secret, for what we do in secret, God sees and will reward us accordingly. Remember, nothing is hidden that will not become evident, nor anything secret that will not be known and come to light (Mark 4:22; Luke 8:17).
Help us dear Lord not to seek the recognition of men or despise the small things we can do in serving You and Your people. Create in our hearts Lord the true desire to want do all things for Your glory alone. We know O God that even in secret our efforts are never wasted, because You see and know our hearts, and You will reward us according to our deeds. Blessed be Your name Lord and glory to You forever and ever.
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