“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. 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 6:2-4 NIV
We all like graphs and charts, maybe not the nerd detail side of making the graphs, but the final picture which provides the information that you are seeking. The charts begin to define who you are and what you think of yourselves. GPA in school, median income, gender are examples that others use to define who you are. What would your lifestyle giving graph look like?
God states that there is a reward that you will receive for your giving. When you do it for show, for acknowledgement, for respect, or for pride, you will receive the reward here on earth – the praise of men. That’s not a bad thing, it’s just not the best thing.
When you give in secret, when you give without expecting anything in return, when you give without having to draw attention to your sacrifice, Jesus states that you are giving to a savings account up in heaven. Clearly He says that we can store up treasures in heaven where neither moth nor rust destroy and thieves can not steal.
So what would your giving graph chart look like?
- Do you have regular giving to organizations, ministries or individuals?
- Is there an intentional percentage amount that you are giving? Will it ever increase?
- Do you have a “giving just because” budgeted slot? This would be money each month to give to someone just because they asked.
- How much of your giving is secret and how much is announced?
- How would the giving of your time be recorded?
Giving to an organization like Compassion International can still be giving in secret. Announcing to others how long you have been giving or how much you have given, changes the scenario to match what Jesus was referring to by giving in secrecy.
You can share some of your giving stories as a way to encourage others to give. Especially include your children in the giving experience as a lifestyle of giving teaching.
Giving is one of the ways that you can emulate the character of God. For God so loved the world that He gave. You can exhibit the heart of God through giving. Love finds a way to give. Announcing your giving is self love. Giving in secret reveals love for others.
The world could use the giving heart of God on full display in our giving to others.
Blessing Love y’all