About 45 years ago, we were having company for the weekend. It was a friend of Mom's from her church where she grew up and she was bringing her husband and kids. Mom prepared for a fun weekend catching up on old times. In the beginning, they reminisced about school days and caught up on each other and the acquaintances from church and school. Soon Mom's attentive friend started speaking of her amazing job that was flexible and had a huge potential for growth and wealth. She could see great potential in Mom! Here comes the hidden agenda: She wanted Mom to head on the same journey of success by signing up to her pyramid selling scheme. It was hurtful to realize this was not about reconnecting a friendship but it was a hidden agenda.
My definition of a hidden agenda is a scheme or a strategy that benefits you while not being fully honest with the other person. If that lady would have told Mom she wanted to bring her family and stay for a weekend to do a sales call it would have never happened. The lady knew that. It was all about personal gain. I like to think that hidden agendas are just for politicians but we all have them. It is like a secret plan to get us from where we are to where we want to be, sometimes not even realizing what we are doing! First, we think of people who are selling the biggest, baddest, latest, greatest item that will make us all rich! But we also have hidden agendas in our relationships with people. It can be a business deal, a favor or us just needing to be liked.
2 Samuel 11: 12, "Then David said to him, “Stay here one more day, and tomorrow I will send you back.” So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next. vs. 13-15, "At David’s invitation, he ate and drank with him, and David made him drunk. But in the evening Uriah went out to sleep on his mat among his master’s servants; he did not go home." 2 Samuel 11: 15, "In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah. In it he wrote, 'Put Uriah out in front where the fighting is fiercest. Then withdraw from him so he will be struck down and die.'" I would say hidden agendas have been around a while!
God is truth, and so, for us to be His representative here on earth, we must be honest. We must not wheel and deal under false strategies. God knows our needs. Pray that God will be exalted and glorified in what we are asking for. is there a hidden agenda in our prayers? We can ask God to search our hearts for hidden motives. Pray that instead of being motivated by our own needs, wants and goals, pray that God may be glorified! When we trust Jesus with our agendas, the right thing will be done. We will not have to manipulate anything. There is a sense of relief when we lean on God to guide us because we do not have to stress over whether or not things will work out. Jeremiah 7: 23, "...but I gave them this command: Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in obedience to all I command you, that it may go well with you."
The apostle Paul told the Church in Thessalonica in 1 Thessalonians 5: 21, "...but test them all; hold on to what is good..." We are instructed to examine, test and prove what we believe. We can't just believe because a doctrine has been taught. The Word of God should be handled with dignity and care, not taken lightly or taken for granted. We must examine the Scriptures to see if something is true. I would never intentionally tell you something wrong but this is not a Bible. I can only share how I interpret the Bible but everyone is responsible for learning the truth! Make sure you are doing what is good.
Jesus has an agenda, not hidden, and it is love!