Giving For All to See
June 2, 2023
Have you ever been guilty of giving or doing something for someone and expecting praise back, to be seen, or taking pride in yourself? I know I have fallen into this trap before!
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said,
“Be careful that you don’t do your charitable giving[a] before men, to be seen by them, or else you have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. 2 Therefore, when you do merciful deeds, don’t sound a trumpet before yourself, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may get glory from men. Most certainly I tell you, they have received their reward. 3 But when you do merciful deeds, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand does, 4 so that your merciful deeds may be in secret, then your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”
What does this mean?
Obviously when Jesus’ commands to give in a way that one hand is unaware of what the other hand is doing of course is not to be taken literally! But the point is, when we give money or goods to those in need, we do it as an act of charity. Not drawing attention to ourselves, to be seen as Jesus shares His disapproval of “hypocrites,” the Jewish religious leaders in verse 2: “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others…”.
Does this mean we should never let others know about our giving?
Not necessarily but the focus is on the motive of our heart! Our generosity is to be motivated by our love for God and our focus, rather than the praises of people “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them…” (Matt. 6:1). Examine the motives behind why you’re giving. So rather than concerning yourself with who will know about your giving, focus on who will be glorified by your giving. If your motives are pure then “let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”-Matt. 5:16 God will reward those who give in secret.
’95 / ’22 Findley MN