“Be careful that you don’t practice your religion in front of people to draw their attention. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. “Whenever you give to the poor, don’t blow your trumpet as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets so that they may get praise from people. I assure you, that’s the only reward they’ll get. But when you give to the poor, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing so that you may give to the poor in secret. Your Father who sees what you do in secret will reward you (Matthew 6:1-4, Common English Bible).
I seriously doubt my name will ever be attached to a building at my alma mater. That’s OK, I would prefer it that way. I know there are those that would say the reason I would prefer it that way is that I know my name will never be there. Perhaps that is correct but I don’t really think so.
When I read passages like the one above, I interpret this to be about more than giving to the poor. I read it as being about what I give, period. That would include my giving to the poor, my giving to the church and other giving I might do. It is not a matter of being selfish and that I don’t give and therefore I am embarrassed in my giving. It also isn’t that I give a great deal and therefore have something to brag about. I meet Biblical expectations in my giving but beyond that…..
I know there will always be people who are faithful in their giving that will give less than me and people who in their faithful giving who will give more than me. I truly don’t need to know who they are. I’m really not interested.
Here is the thing, regardless of what we give, if we are giving to call attention to ourselves, we are giving for the wrong reasons, no matter how much might be attached and no matter what it might be supporting.
Please understand, I am not saying you should quit giving, I am saying none of us should be bragging about what we give. Think about it this way, God has given us so much (all we have), what we give is really not much to brag about. We give out of a loving response to God as a thanksgiving for all God has shared with us. And, if we are truly honest, honest with ourselves, there is more blessing in our lives than we deserve or than we can begin to count.
I am blessed and I know it. Are you? I give as a way for me to begin to give back to God and to thank God for the tremendous blessings of my life.
How has God blessed your life? How can you say thanks?
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
Joy and Peace,
Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved