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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
06/14/10


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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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Member Comments
Member Date
Cindy White06/17/10
Amen! This is indeed a challenge many of us face. Nicely stated.
The Masked Truelovers06/18/10
Good point that God always knows what we have written and how it has affected people's lives. We will discover the answers to such questions in eternity. (And this article makes me think about checking out ghostwriting more closely).
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 06/19/10
This is a wonderful devotion. You did a good job of tying the verses in.

Small editing note you said for my family and I; it should be for my family and me (a good way to tell is leave out the first part, you wouldn't say for I)

You also did a good job in keeping on topic and reminding me to remember the real reason why I write.
Catrina Bradley 06/20/10
I love this comparison of ghostwriting to "doing our good deeds in secret". You made me stop and think this afternoon. Thank you!
Joanne Sher 06/20/10
What a great analogy for us as writers. Very well-written.
Ann Grover06/20/10
Excellent reminder of the challenge to keep one's perspective. Well done.
Connie Dixon06/20/10
Good devotinal. Your words really made me think. Sometimes we love what we do for Him so much, it's a secret to us that we're actually serving.
Brenda Shipman06/20/10
This was great - so well written, great intro, terrific analogies & comparisons to illustrate a Biblical truth, super conclusion with the prayer at the end. Well done! I continue to enjoy your work.
Susan Montaperto06/20/10
Thank you very much for this devotional. I didn't know very much about ghostwriting.It's always good to be reminded that God keeps track of what we do and why we do it. That we need to keep our focus on heaven and where our reward is in the long run. Thank you for a very informational and timely devotional.
God bless you and your family.
Verna Cole Mitchell 06/21/10
You have excellent analogies in your devotional--your points clearly expressed.
Colin Swann06/23/10
This is pregnant with good Christian advice, prompts and obviously from some of the comments, an encouragemnt. I do believe that is what you want your writing to do - to bless others. Thanks - Colin.
Carol Slider 06/23/10
Thanks for another beautiful, masterfully written devotional!
Patricia Turner06/23/10
You nicely put into perspective the small things we think insignificant that matter to God. Great analogy with the ghostwriting.
Carol Penhorwood 07/21/10
A very creative take on this topic. Well done!