Are you sometimes flummoxed by the news reports you see and read? Publicity-seekers abound, and the various media syndicates are hungry for stories to help them meet their deadlines and beat the competition. They eagerly fill each 24-hour news cycle with reports of the aberrant behavior of political leaders and the spectacular and often outrageous activities of the latest box office idols, rock stars, or superstar athletes. Amid the daily hullabaloo, news of real importance is often overlooked, even in the most trying of times.
In almost every setting, someone or some group will be vying for attention, sometimes to make a philosophical or political point, sometimes peacefully, and (sadly more often of late) sometimes in a disruptive manner.
Some individuals achieve fame for worthwhile accomplishments or contributions in business, academics, sports, or philanthropy. Serving others, however, does not usually garner the big headlines that scandal or wrongdoing seem to attract.
While many people enjoy this barrage of titillating media stories, most people’s lives are less exciting or newsworthy than those featured in the news. Henry David Thoreau, the famous author and poet of the 19th Century, observed that, “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.” His observation still seems valid today.
With this in mind, it seems that for many people there is a lack, a feeling of failure or sense of frustration if they are not receiving attention, for whatever reason, be it positive or negative. Others have unfulfilled dreams that prevent them from enjoying what they have, which blinds them from being truly thankful. Fame and fortune and the attention they bring are illusive goals.
The Bible gives a balanced perspective on this subject, which should bring peace of mind and clarity of purpose to those who are seeking to find meaning or purpose in these days of trouble. It is a different set of values from what is being sought by the teeming masses of mankind.
The Apostle Paul put it into perspective in his letter to the Church in Thessalonica. He instructed, “But we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more; that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you” (1 Thessalonians 4:10–11).
He sounded the same theme in his instruction to Timothy about praying for those in authority in government when he wrote, “that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior” (1 Timothy 2:2–3).
The Apostle Peter also hammered this point home in his letter giving instruction to women. He wrote, “the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit…is very precious in the sight of God” (1 Peter 3:3–4).
Often it seems that amidst the roar of the crowd and the clatter of popular chatter, many good ideas and solid accomplishments are overlooked and simply go unnoticed. Considering these Scriptures, it seems obvious that God does not overlook those who quietly go about obeying him and doing good.
Certainly some may distinguish themselves for great accomplishments and receive accolades, praise and publicity as a just reward for a job well done. Yet, even if they are never recognized by one’s peers or those in authority, more importantly, their conduct is noted by God. In instructing His disciples about prayer and charitable deeds, Jesus instructed them to do these things quietly, in private, “that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly” (Matthew 6:4).
This is the true Way that brings peace and pleases God.
If you are interested in obtaining the reward your Heavenly Father has for you, you can quietly learn more about it in the informative, free booklet What Is a True Christian?