Teaching About Giving To The Needy
“Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do—blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get. But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.”
Matthew 6:1-4 NLT
It’s the most giving time of the year and in our part of the world, it’s starting to feel that way because the blistering hot days may be gone for a while. (That alone deserves praise to the Lord!) If the weather and calendar isn’t reminder enough of the “giving season” season, our mail and email also remind us by providing many giving opportunities.
What motivates you to give? Is it a feeling of gratitude because you are blessed to be able to give? Or is it because you seek the approval of others? Maybe it’s both?
Jesus is warning us about giving because of our desire to gain something in return or for recognition. If we do give for personal gain or recognition, we will most assuredly receive public admiration, but Jesus tells us we may forfeit our reward in heaven from God the Father.
It’s easier to give or do what is right when we receive public recognition, but as believers, we should give for the pleasure of giving and as a response to God’s love. We should ask ourselves, ‘would I still do this if there were no personal or public benefit to me?’ Spend some time checking and praying about your motives.
“You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” 2 Corinthians 9:7 NLT
We should also be seeking ways to give generously in service all year round, not just during the holidays. Look around to see if someone is in need of a kind word, or a personal note, perhaps a meal, or by the generous giving of our time. Our time can sometimes be the richest gift and provide the greatest rewards.
If you are like me, time slips by quickly and before I know it weeks and months have gone by and I’m doing my best to stay ahead of my to-do list. Because of that, I know I must be intentional about my giving.
I use my electronic calendar for reminders and appointments, so why not randomly schedule ‘giving’ appointments on my calendar with a special word or symbol to remind me to give? When I receive that notification I can look for ways to respond in secret. Sounds like fun to me!
Would you take a few moments to seriously consider how you can create a habit of giving not only in your life but in the lives of your children as well?
Closing Prayer: Father, I love the straightforward truth of Your word about giving. Why do we give? Why do I give? Am I doing it so I can get man’s approval or out of obedient love for You? I pray it is the latter Father, but I will be examining myself for the real truth. Please guide me to look for ways to give in secret, with a grateful heart, and to honor and glorify You. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.