Giving in Secret

JESUS SPEAKING

“Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a Trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and inn 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.” (Matthew 6: 2 – 4)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

The motivation behind every act of genuine charity and righteous affection is profoundly important. Throughout biblical history, the right hand has come to symbolize purity, spiritual cleanliness, and moral authority; on the contrary, the left hand is considered inferior and dirty. In this scripture, Jesus likens the right hand to those actions which are pure and designed to bring glory and honor to God. The left hand however, represents the carnal nature of man; which causes many to strive for social adoration and individual glory. This hunger for admiration is so powerful and cunning that accomplishing good works while maintaining humility can be difficult. Thus, in order to protect the purity of our motivations, Jesus has urged us to accomplish some of our acts of charity in secret; which prevents our desire for praise from infecting our desire to honor God. In turn, we are told that God will openly reward us for those things we’ve accomplished in secret. [Note: We must also continue to do good works publicly; as this draws others to the Lord.]

There once lived a wealthy shoe manufacturer named W. L. Douglas. At one point in his early life he had become completely broke. In fact, he had been unemployed so long that he was down to his last dollar. Still, when only God was watching him, he put half of it (50 cents) into the collection basket of his church. The next morning he heard of a job in a neighboring town. The railroad fare to that town was one dollar. However, with only a half dollar remaining he bought a ticket and rode halfway to the desired place. He exited the train and began walking into the town. Before he had reached one block he discovered a factory where they were employing men. Within thirty minutes he had a job at a salary five dollars more a week than he would have received had he gone on to the other town. God had seen what he had done in secret and rewarded him openly.

Like all Christians, we are called to perform public acts of kindness toward our fellows. Yet Jesus Christ has also instructed us to accomplish good deeds in secret, so that our motives might remain pure. We are told that what we do in secret will be rewarded, both eternally, and in our present lives. We can tithe in secret, we can give in secret, we can pray in secret, and we practice acts of love in secret. May we accomplish these endeavors and may we always give honor and glory to God our Father, and His Son Jesus Christ.

“Lord Heavenly Father, we praise you and thank you for our many blessings. Give us the opportunity and the motivation to give in secret; to love in secret; and to serve our fellows in secret; devoid of the desire for worldly rewards. Through the power of Your Holy Spirit, make our intentions pure, that we might continue to give the glory and honor to You; as You are worthy of all praise and all glory. We ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name we pray. Amen.” God bless all of you!


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