Monday, April 24, 2023

Practicing the Discipline of Secrecy


A good portion of what happens on social media is about the need to be liked. Or, the need to be noticed. 

Or, the need to be pitied. 

The need to be loved. 

The unloved, unpitied, unnoticed, and disliked, write about themselves, too much, thus exposing their fundamental insecurity.

We get less information from those who consciously refrain from making known their good qualities and accomplishments. This disciplines their longing for recognition.

Richard Foster writes,

"We often long to talk about the good deeds that we do, wanting others to think well of us. The danger of this inclination is that approval will become our motivation." (Foster, Year with God, p. 139)

We all need to love and be loved. We all need to belong. As these basic human needs are increasingly realized, we hunger less for human approval on social media. We look to God for approval, rather than frail and finite people like ourselves. 

Foster writes,

"That is not to say that our good qualities will never be recognized by others, just that we leave it to God to point them out... Practicing the discipline of secrecy simply relinquishes to God the power to reveal our light. This submission is only appropriate, because everything in us that is good comes from God." (Ib.)