Created in 1865 by Abraham Lincoln on the day of his death to suppress counterfeit currency, the United States Secret Service now has a two-fold mission.
“Today the Secret Service is mandated by Congress to carry out the integrated missions of protection and investigations.” (United States Secret Service)
More specifically, Secret Service agents protect our “nation’s leaders and the financial and critical infrastructure of the United States.” They do this with a worldwide staff of about 7,000 employees.
Secret Service agents try to do their jobs in an inconspicuous way. In fact, they prefer to go unnoticed since being noticed usually means something went wrong.
Yet, spotting an agent isn’t too difficult since their unique objectives and activities means they won’t exactly fit in. Think of it like being able to spot security personnel at a concert. Because much of the time they don’t act like those in the crowd, they stand apart from it.
In some aspects, being a Christian should be like being a Secret Service agent. One of those involves being inconspicuous in some key ways.
Secret Service Christians
Jesus actually tells us to be secret service Christians in three specific areas… giving, praying and fasting (Matthew 6). He begins this teaching by telling us to check our motives.
“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 6:1)
By no means are we to hide our faith. In fact, Scripture tells us to always be ready to share the reason for our faith (1 Peter 3:15) and to continually glorify God (1 Chronicles 16:28-29). At the same time, our efforts in these areas are not to be for the purpose of recognition from men. Our focus, instead, should be on our “Father who is in the secret place” (Matthew6:4, 6 & 18)
When we are secret service Christians with our giving, praying and fasting, like the United States Secret Service agents we too will stand apart from the crowd not necessarily because of our specific activity but because of the way in which we do it. Also like Secret Service agents, the focus will ultimately remain on the object of our service.
“Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)