Read Matthew 6:1-6

“Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven. 
 
“So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward.  But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
 
“And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward.  But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”

 from Rev. Aaron Watkins, First Christian Church, Bluefield

            Jesus did not want his disciples to do good works in order to bring attention to themselves.  He wanted them to give out of the goodness of their own hearts.  Is it not right to think that, more often than not, we are more blessed in the giving of a gift than in receiving? 

            In ancient Jewish times almsgiving was the practice of giving charitable gifts. Because Jewish law did not require almsgiving, it was considered especially praiseworthy.  “Sounding the trumpet” was a figurative way of saying that the people of Jesus’ day found ways of calling others’ attention to what they were doing. When we give a gift to gain recognition for ourselves, is that truly giving from our own hearts?  Not really.  God calls us to be humble. When we do so, are we not becoming more like Christ?  Let us daily seek to be more Christ-like.

May I grow in Christ’s likeness, O God,
by giving from the fullness of my heart and not for selfish gain.
Advertisements