Keep the Really Awesome Stuff Secret

James Walpole/ December 14, 2019

“But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” – Jesus in the sermon on the mount

I haven’t been on Instagram in a long time. In general, I also tend not to share a lot of photos of myself either. The past year or more has been a break from that, and it’s been really nice.

When I don’t feel a need to share photos or get likes about my latest adventure, I can savor the experiences more as ends in themselves, rather than as ends to the means of impressing others.

I also *like* walking around knowing that I’ve done cool things no one (or not many people) know about. I like knowing that I or my actions have been better than the opinion of others. When and if they ever come up, my sharing of my cool experiences won’t be forced, and it will have more credibility because the experiences won’t have been mere PR tools.

At the same time, I know that I’m missing out on connections and opportunities (and ways to grow my projects) because I’m not broadcasting much about my interests. There must be a balance, and as I’ve written recently, this is one judgment that’s important to me right now.

Most people don’t reveal everything about themselves. Instead, they choose to reveal the best first (to gratify ego) and keep the worst hidden (to assuage shame). I’m going to do things a bit differently: I think I might keep all the most awesome stuff secret.

The moments of my best character, hardest endurance, and valuable creativity don’t need to be aired on Instagram. I want those experiences to remain between me and God. I think Jesus was getting at something true when he warned off his hearers from signaling about their good deeds. There is a reward lost when good things are turned into a show. I’m not opposed to some shows, but I’m keeping some of my moments to myself.

James Walpole

James Walpole is a writer, startup marketer, and perpetual apprentice. You're reading his blog right now, and he really appreciates it. Don't let it go to his head, though.

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