WHEN YOU GIVE
“Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. 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 honoured by men. …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 6:1-4.
Now that’s strange! Jesus did not say, “If you give to the needy…” as though giving were optional. He said, “When you give to the needy…” That means that He expects His disciples to be generous to people in need. “But,” He said, “it’s not only important to be generous but it’s also important to know how Jesus wants us to give.”
The Pharisees loved to do ‘righteous’ acts so that people would see how “holy” they were and praise them. They were more interested in being rewarded by people’s praise than by God. The pottery offering boxes were wide at the top and narrow at the bottom so that thieves could not put their hands is and steal. The Pharisees loved to throw their coins in so that the pottery made a noise. The people would know that they were giving money to the poor.
Again Jesus said, “Don’t do that because, if you want to be rewarded by men’s praise, that’s all the reward you will get.”
Why is it important that we help people in need? First of all, we give out of gratitude to God because He gave His only Son for us. We also give out of compassion for suffering people because Jesus is our model and we are His disciples who are to do what He did. Then we give because our money and possessions are like seed. Just as seeds grow and produce a harvest, so our money will grow if we sow it into someone else’s need.
“Anyone who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with his instructor. Do not be deceived. God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” Galatians 6:6, 7.
That’s how God works in His kingdom. Jesus said that we must give away whatever we need and it will come back to us in abundant measure.
“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38.
In the world’s system we have to buy and sell to make money. We either buy and sell products or we sell our time and our skills to earn a salary. If we have extra money, we put it in the bank or invest it in some way so that we can earn interest, but in God’s kingdom our money grows when we give it away. It’s like putting it in the bank of heaven where it is safe. When we need it, God will supply our need because we have supplied someone else’s need.
Jesus said that giving is a part of our ‘acts of righteousness.’ When He saved us from sin, He also saved us from being selfish and greedy but we must become what He said we are, His children who are just like our Father.
It is not wrong if people know we are generous as long as we don’t do it to get their praise. Our giving is to God and to His children because we love Jesus and want to show our love by obeying His commands. When God will get the praise for what we have done.
“The service you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.” 2 Corinthians 9:12.
Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Have you read my new book, Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing)? You’ll love it!
Watch this space. My second book, Learning to be a Disciple – The Way of the Master (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing), companion volume to Learning to be a Disciple – The Way of the Master, will soon be on the bookshelves.