"Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly." (Matthew 6:1-4)
The Lord Jesus teaches us that when we give or serve, we are not to do it for the sake of getting people to applaud and appreciate us. When we serve, we are taught to serve without longing for the praise of man, because God is whom we serve.
We don't have to be the person that others see doing acts of service. We can find different ways to serve so that the praise won't be given to us but to God.
Here are some ideas that you can try.
1) Find a service-oriented group and help fund their cause
This is a very common thing to do, but it can be done better. If you know some church groups that do community work, particularly in needy communities, you can choose to bless them.
Pray to God and take your time looking for various service-oriented groups on the internet, reading and searching more information about such a group. If God leads you to one, then you've got the opportunity to be a blessing to others in a way that is just between you and God.
2) Support someone who is already doing something great
If you do not want to merely give donations to charities or groups, then maybe you can think of someone who is already actively reaching out to others and start blessing that friend by supporting them in their efforts.
It may not be wise to start another outreach when someone you know is already doing something similar. Instead, you can simply come alongside them by asking them where they need some help or offering to be a prayer partner.
3) Do the little things
It's easy to get caught up in our own reputation or glory when we are doing a large-scale project that involves many players and partners. But sometimes it's the small things that can really make a difference. They may not be noticed by everyone, even the person that is being blessed, but God sees everything and can work through your thoughtfulness and simple acts of kindness towards others. Here are some things you can do:
- Leave a blanket and some food next to a homeless person sleeping rough on the street.
- Drop an encouraging note at your coworker's desk or through your neighbor's door.
- Offer to pick up the tab for a stranger when you're dining out or doing your coffee run.
- Leave a generous tip for your server.
- Help an older neighbor with their garden.
As I close, I'd like to encourage everybody to serve. God designed us for the work, and has also designed the work for us (see Ephesians 2:10). All we've got to do is do what He wants us to do.