“Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2 Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 3 But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.
So why so we do what we do? Think about it; why do we show kindness? Why do we help others? Why do we put money in the offering? Why do we respond when the pastor asks for help? Why do we agree to more work at work? Why do we let someone into the line of traffic? Why do we give gifts to people we are not close to? Have we ever given something to someone for the praise of another man or another woman? Do we ever do extra hoping to be seen by someone who might in turn do something good for us? Have we ever reminded someone of a kindness we showed when they were being unkind to us?
The Pharisees were great at doing things for the praise of one another. Jesus said that they would sound a trumpet to get the attention of all in the room when they did their good deeds or gave their big offering. They wanted the applause of the crowd. Then Jesus warns us not to be like them for they have the praise of men.
Jesus then gives an example of the motive of our giving. When we give, our gift is supposed to be so private among one another that our left hand should be unaware of what our right hand is doing. Speaking in hyperbole again, Jesus wants us to give so that God alone knows and that when God knows that we have done something in kindness, He notices and He keeps the records.
Think again, whom do you really want to notice when you show a kindness or give your money to help another? Do you really want the passing praise of one another? If we give for the praise of one another, when they notice our gift they have given us our reward. However, when we give privately, when we show kindness to the glory of God, then God sees and He keeps an eternal record on our behalf. Let God pat you on the back. Let God make you feel good about what you have done. Then you will know the greatest rewards.
We arrived back at O’Hare yesterday afternoon. Bob brought us home, Rachel made dinner, and we were off to church last night. We were a bit tired but made it through the evening then slept well. Thank you for your prayers in our absence. God did take care of us. Neither of us got sick and we were able to minister to several people along the way. I will tell you more about that on Sunday.
For fun sake, I had the longest birthday of my life. We left Jakarta at 6am on the 14th, flew seven hours to Japan, had an hour and half layover there, boarded and flew twelve hours to Chicago and landed at 2:10pm on the 14th. The math doesn’t work but it was pretty cool to have a birthday that lasted almost two days.
Have a great day in the Lord,