Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
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. 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.
From my observation of human behavior, I can tell that most people like to keep their financial status and decisions as private as possible. We use passwords, PINs, safes and super-sophisticated encryption algorithms to keep other people from knowing anything about our money. Except when it comes to making donations. Then people post about their generosity on social media, brag about it to neighbors and friends, and sometimes, if the amount they give is really impressive, insist that their name be emblazoned on the object or building they made possible through their magnanimity.
Jesus cautioned us against seeking human accolades for our acts of generosity. It’s great to be generous. God smiles on our giving and is pleased when we bless others. Just don’t do it in a way that brings honor to yourself. In God’s economy, the motivation behind a good deed or generous gift determines its value. A little donation given secretly and cheerfully matters more in God’s Kingdom than a big contribution given for the good of the giver. God judges our hearts along with our actions.
So, when you give or serve those in need or feel inspired to be kind to a neighbor, do it joyfully, and as best you can, do it without bringing attention to yourself. Give to bring glory to God. Share what you have in the name of Jesus. Then, you can expect Jesus’ promise of blessing to flow back to you and enable you to be generous again and again.
Father in Heaven, thank You for being generous in how You love me. Help me to share with others what You have given me and to trust that You will continue to meet my needs. I pray this through Jesus, who gave Himself for me. Amen.
Pastor Mike Mirakian