Matthew 6:1-4, “Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them.  Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven.  Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men.  Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.  But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.”

Charity.  Giving to others.  In a world that likes to be recognized for achievements, the world of charity should be a life of obscurity.  No visibility.  No one knowing that it is happening.  Give as if no one is watching because others do not matter when it comes to your giving.

Our giving should not be done before men.  This is difficult especially in a church setting but still giving should be private.  We should announce how much we are giving.  We should not consult others on how much to give.  The choice of what to give or to give at all should be between us and God.  This is not a matter to be decided by men or even seen by others.

God will not reward us if we give openly.  Giving is not to be done so that we can be prideful.  Giving is not done so that we can feel good.  Giving is done because it is a command by God.  God wants us to give to others to help out those in need.  No matter how much you have, there is always someone out there with less than you.  There is someone out there that is hungry, homeless, jobless, or just down in the gutter.  There is a need that is out there if we only look.  When we give secretly, a reward is unlocked by God for us in Heaven.

When we give, we should not be calling attention to ourselves.  In those days, people would play musical instruments to show that they were giving money.  They would make their giving into a show and a spectacle.  They wanted people to see how rich they were and how much money they could afford to give.  We are not to be hypocritical in our giving.  We say that we give in secret but do it to satisfy men and not God.  If we are giving to show off, God does not want your gift.  God wants a gift given that is done from the heart.

The reward of the man who gives openly is the praise of men.  People will be wowed and amazed at how much money you may be giving.  Look at the world.  Millionaires and billionaires that give tons of money to charity will do so to show off.  Not all, but some.  Even people with tens of hundreds of thousands of dollars will do the same.  A “look-at-me” attitude.  An “I-can-outgive-you” attitude.  This is wrong.  The reward of this behavior is the praise of men but not acceptable to God.

Our giving should be as if our left hand does not know what our right hand is doing.  We are not to focus on what we are giving; only that we are giving.  We do not need to show off, fixate, brag, boast, or record it.  We are simply called to give to God and to others in need.  Our giving must be done in secret.  It is not a spectator sport.  It is not a competition.  It is an act done between God and man.  God knows what we can give and we know what we can give.  An agreement must be made between God and man before giving may be done.

If the giving is done in secret, God will reward us openly.  A gift is given and suddenly, because of God, money shows up in your bank account.  A bill is paid for someone else and God rewards with a bill paid for you.  I have heard this countless times happening.  God loves when we act in faith.  God loves when we give from the heart.  He rewards those that give of their money and time.  The reward may not always be money but there is a reward.  This should not be our focus for giving though.  We should give as though we are to receive nothing in return.  Give to give.

Giving should be a joyous affair.  It is not a drudgery.  It is not painful.  God blesses us with so much that we should not feel forced to give but we should want to give.  When giving, consult God.  Ask, “what do you want me to give, Lord?  Is it money or time or something else?”  Sometimes it is giving money to a person in need.  Sometimes it is donating time at a soup kitchen.  Maybe it is volunteering to teach a class at your community center or church.  Whatever the giving is, let it be done with a smile on your face.  Not that you are doing it for others, but if others happen to see that you are happy while giving, they will be encouraged to give as well.  Maybe they have been on the fence about giving and your attitude is the difference needed for them.  The light that we show must be a reflection of the Light of God.  The world is our charity.  Give as God’s sees fit for you to give.

Heavenly Father,

Let us give to those in need.  We know that so many of Your creation are lacking and need help.  Help us to see the world through Your eyes.  Help us to deny ourselves and our want of more things and reach out to a world that needs our time and money.  Help us to give of what we have as all that we have is Yours.  We know that You are our Father and we can always come to You.  As long as we talk to You, we know that we are giving what You want of us.  Giving is a personal affair between us and You.  Help us to be secret about our giving.  We want You to receive the praise.

In Your name we pray,

Amen

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