Have you ever used a finger trap? It is a child’s toy that tightens when you put your fingers into it and pull gently, making it almost impossible to remove your fingers. It’s a great idea for parents of overly active children! I also think it perfectly drives home a lesson that Jesus was teaching his followers about acts of service.
In Matthew 6:1 Jesus warns his hearers “Don’t do your good deeds publically, to be admired, because then you will lose the reward from your Father in Heaven.” Everyone wants to be recognized for the good things that they do, but often this desire for recognition skews our motivation. We end up doing our acts of service to be seen and praised by the people around us. Jesus, on the other hand, wants us to let our good deeds shine so that everyone will praise the heavenly Father” (Matthew 5:16).
This week our Day Camp is in full swing with about 150 children and a dedicated team of volunteers involved in leading songs, crafts, games and teaching Bible principles. We are so proud of all of the people that make a camp like this successful. There are many unsung heroes that may never get the full recognition that they may deserve. But we know this: God will reward everyone for the good they have done.
The next time you are tempted to raise your hand so that people will recognize you for your achievements, take a second to consider the finger trap. You may be trading a few moments of praise for an eternity of reward.