OUR GIVING IN SECRET
Sunday, November 12, 2017
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“Be careful not to practise your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.” Matthew 6:1

There is a tendency some people have in hoping for a human audience when they give to others. Jesus warns against this type of external behaviour, carried out by Jewish leaders who habitually peered over their shoulders for the praise of others.

Jesus said of the Pharisees, “Everything they do is done for people to see: they make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; they love the place of honour at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; they love to be greeted with respect in the market-places and to be called “Rabbi” by others” (Matthew 23:5-7). The phylacteries were small leather boxes containing parts of the law worn on their wrists and foreheads. Along with the tassels, these functioned as visual aids to remind them of God’s commandments. Jesus did not have an issue with this, but rather with their motivation in wearing them, which was to be seen by others as spiritually superior.

Jesus also talks about the motivation of the Jewish leaders in their giving. He says, “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 honoured by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 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. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you” (Matthew 6:2-4). When giving is done for the praise of others, our audience changes from God to people, which does nothing to merit heaven’s attention. We have our reward in full, says Jesus.

It is often the kind of giving that seldom receives credit or even acknowledgment that God will praise the most. We please God when we carry out the smallest acts of righteousness that goes unnoticed by others. There are countless ways in which we can give of our time, our money, our resources and talents, but we make the giving about ourselves when it is not done out of love for God and our fellow beings. People may never acknowledge or even notice the godly influence our giving in secret has on the advancement of the kingdom of God, but as we work together with Him, the giving spreads, and ripples out like a stone tossed in still water. When kindly acts of righteousness are done out of love for God and a genuine desire to share in His work, they will indeed be rewarded by God Himself, and this is where our true treasure lies.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, keep me from seeking the praise of others. Help me to base all my giving and acts of righteousness upon an earnest desire to please and serve You. Thank You, Jesus.


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