There is a right and wrong way to give and it’s separated by our purpose. When our purpose is to glorify our Father in heaven, we are giving in the way he describes in Matthew 5:16 (below). However, once our focus draws away from glorifying God, and instead becomes something we do to be admired by others, there is no reward, except the reward of being called “a good person” by others.
So let’s imagine, you and I were standing in front of the same grocery store and a person in need was sitting on the curb. In that moment I decide to give them some food or money. Based on the way I did it, would you have a good idea whether I was doing with a good heart or as a way of glorifying myself? Do you find that questioning the motive of the giver is the natural response of any witness to those who give? It’s almost as if people have a sixth sense in knowing the motive behind those who are giving.
As a follower of Christ we want to do our part in bringing light into the world, and we want to be a giving people, but we don’t want to give the wrong impression. How do we do this? Place all your focus on doing it for God and the person you are helping, and remove you from the picture.
- Have I been giving as God encourages me to do so?
- What can I do to be more of a giving person?
- Have I been keeping my eyes open for opportunities to give?
- What can I do to find those in need?
A few questions I am now asking myself:
4 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
6 “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them.If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
2 “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. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.