When you do a good deed, or charitable deeds,
do you want someone to reward you openly?
If you answered yes to that question, who would you prefer to reward you…and what would you like as your reward? If you’re a Christian, I hope you agree that it’s important to know what God says about giving. And if you have a red letter edition of the Bible, open it to Matthew 6. What you’ll discover, in verses 1-4, is that Jesus says you should not tell everyone when you’re doing charitable deeds…or what they are. In fact, He explicitly says “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“.
It was important to Jesus that His followers understood this…important enough for Him to include it in His written word. And the topic of charitable deeds was important enough to be included with a list of these other topics:
- Murder, Adultery, Divorce
- Oaths, Retaliation, Love
- Prayer, Fasting, Wealth, and
That’s a pretty serious list…right? Jesus knew these were things each and every person would deal with in life…from one perspective or another. So He made sure to give us His (and His Father’s) perspective. And whose perspective has the most wisdom? His!
Jesus wants your giving to come from your heart. He wants it to be about loving your neighbor as yourself, serving your fellow man, just plain ol’ helping out when someone needs it. He doesn’t want your giving to be about how good a giver you are. He knows when your focus is on what a good giver you are, your tendency is to focus on numbers and rewards…not loving your neighbor. And all you need do is read the stories in the Bible, or read the history of any country or civilization, and you’ll see it always ends up that way.
If you’re in a good financial position, and you have extra to give, pass it around as much as you cheerfully can. That’s awesome. But please don’t do it and tell everyone you did. Don’t mention it to anyone. Of course, you can claim it on your taxes. There’s nothing wrong with that. You’re just following governmental policies. But you’re not making a big deal of it. Let your giving be done in secret. And if there is any telling, let it be done by someone else. Trust that Jesus meant it…and that He knew it was true when He said God will reward you openly. It may not be until you’re in Heaven, but it WILL be.
Are you giving in secret? If not, will you trust Jesus and begin to give in secret? I believe your blessings will be richer.