“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.” Matthew 6:2-4
I went to a church that I was invited to for a Baptism. It was the month of November, so the church was having a special sermon on giving. I didn’t have a good feeling about this church. When I walked in, things were being sold to raise money for missions. It was a big church, and tables were set up, so people could give to different charities. It reminded me of the buying and selling at the temple in Jesus’ time. Jesus was not happy with this practice.
Next, I brought my mother and brother with me. As new people, we were not welcomed or greeted. There wasn’t a sense of love in this church. Oddly it felt very cold.
Then the sermon came, and the preacher asked people to lay money on the alter. Wow, to me, that was very wrong! Now, my mom wanted to leave. She was ready to go, and said so loudly. I am a meek person, and wanted to be polite, by staying through the service, so I told her that it was almost over. Honestly, I wish we had left. Money is the root of all evil, the Bible says. There is a way and place to give – in secret, not openly.
People have to have money to eat, to have clothing, to have shelter. It seems an admirable thing to give to the poor. But, was this church doing that the correct way? Jesus tells us to give in secret if we want to be rewarded by God. The poor are really in need of these things, and if we see our brother without food or clothing, if we can help, we should. Let’s be careful how we give, and do it for the right reasons.
Dear God, help me to be a good steward of giving. Help me to give the way you would want me to give-out of love, and not in the open for others to see. It is your reward that I am seeking, not man’s. Thank You!