Trillia Newbell: Doing good works for God

MEGAN BASHAM, HOST: Today is Monday, May 20th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Megan Basham.

NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher. Commentator Trillia Newbell now on how pro-lifers rose to a challenge and got very specific on how they affirm life at all its stages.

TRILLIA NEWBELL, COMMENTATOR: Last week Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed into law the Alabama Human Protection Act. It sounds simple, but it wasn’t—because this bill protected unborn human life.

Predictably, Twitter exploded in controversy. People chimed in with their hot takes on the bill and other related topics.

One user’s question stood out to me among the rest. She wrote:

“Dear Pro-Life friends: what have you *personally* done to support lower income single mothers? I’ll wait:”

I do not know the woman who tweeted this question and hesitate to judge her motive. But at face value, it would seem she was issuing a doubt-filled challenge to the pro-life community. She doubted those who consider themselves pro-life care for mothers and children beyond the womb.

I’ve heard this argument time and time again. Those who identify as pro-choice are often concerned that pro-lifers don’t care about the practical needs of those already born. They fear we only care about the unborn.

Well, pro-life “friends” took up the woman’s challenge. They began sharing the specific ways they support lower-income single mothers.

Responses poured in. One woman said she cared for four women, finding them housing, securing a lawyer, and helping with medical care.

A pastor said his church spent $50,000 to support financial needs, educational needs, spiritual counseling, and assistance with employment.

Another user said her organization raised a quarter-million dollars to support families with prenatal and postnatal care, education, jobs, and other needs. And that was last year alone.

What began as a challenge turned into an encouraging thread. More than 10,000 responses! Countless stories of hosting baby showers, donating to adoptions, and serving at crisis pregnancy centers.

These stories of service go unheard possibly because serving is a part of ordinary life. People serve—and it is the Christian call. But many don’t broadcast their acts of service.

There are practical reasons for this. As one who volunteers at an addiction center, I know using a name or likeness of a woman could put her in danger. It would also breach her privacy.

But perhaps the greatest reason many do not talk about their service to single mothers or low-income neighbors is because Jesus instructed us not to.

Matthew records Jesus saying, “But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you” (Matt 6:3-4).

Of course this doesn’t mean we can never discuss our good works. Rather Jesus was warning us not to serve in order to be seen by others.

Our motivation for serving should not be to boast about it and receive glory, but to love our neighbor. And we have the promise that our Father will reward us. What a generous God!

It’s true that our care for others should expand from womb to tomb. I’m thankful that, in many cases, it already does. And it happens in secret.

For WORLD Radio, I’m Trillia Newbell.

(AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File) In this Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018, file photo, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey delivers the annual State of the State address at the Capitol in Montgomery, Ala.

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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