With advanced technology and evolving social media, our devices are daily flooded with curated images intended to give a window into the life of another. We often feel that we are well acquainted with others sheerly by what we see presented on their feeds. In our own lives, we're able to give glimpses to be seen by others on our social media platforms. It's tempting in a culture that puts such an emphasis on what we see, to place great value on what is seen by others. We might only be willing to serve if we feel it will be recognized by others. We might only desire to show hospitality if we have something to show for it. We might only look for ways to encourage others if we feel it will make us look a certain way. The issue that comes with elevating the notion of being seen, is the little regard we give to our lives when behind closed doors. It's the little concern we give to internal matters over external. If we give all of our energy to presenting, serving, and remaining faithful only in what is seen by others, our faithfulness is merely a performance, completely dependent on the applause of an audience.
When I think of faithful saints that I admire and aim to emulate with my own life, I rarely think of the Instagram influencer who recommends wonderful resources to me or the author who has written 3 of my favorite books, or the speaker that I always sign up to listen to at conferences. Not that countless women with a platform for their ministry haven't affected my life in wonderful ways. But when I think of faithful saints that I hope to follow after, I think of the young mom in my church who continues to faithfully serve in childcare even when she hasn't slept a full night in months, or the older women who could've long been retired but continue to show up at every weekly outreach event to meet new people and engage in gospel conversations, or the single friend who attends all the wedding showers and baby showers rejoicing with those who rejoice even as she longs to be married and have a family of her own.
It's easier to remain faithful in ministry when seen and celebrated by others. It's easier to continue serving and giving our lives to others when we feel that it's properly appreciated. But in the moments where no one is watching, no one is listening, and no one is seeing, that is when the true heart of our faithfulness is revealed. It is God who judges the heart and tests the mind. He sees all things in the hidden and the seen. Every quiet act of faithfulness holds resounding eternal impact in His kingdom.
Though the world may prize what is seen, the Lord gives the highest regard to the faithful. So as we are daily faced with choices to respond in quiet surrender, let's do so in faithfulness. There are countless opportunities we have to do so - like signing up for the slot in childcare that falls on a holiday, welcoming the person who doesn't know anyone, sharing the gospel with your neighbor, visiting with a widowed friend on the weekend, donating money to support a single mother who chose life, or studying the Scriptures day and night. Though we may be tempted to believe it is less rewarding to remain faithful in the unseen, hearing the words at eternity's shore, "Well done, good and faithful servant," won't even compare to the temporary cheers of men.