As I’ve been preparing for my message for Sunday morning, I have been meditating on Matthew 6:1-18. This passage speaks to certain testimonies of righteous living: giving, praying, and fasting.
It is notable that each of these are introduced by speaking against these deeds as practiced by the “hypocrites” (which at any moment might be any of us). It is far too easy to do things to be seen by others and receive some public honor through doing this.
In particular, it is rather striking in this day and age how few people appear to want to be secretly generous with what God has given them. We design our charitable programs to publicly name benefactors, but what I was wondering…have we simply made our righteousness a business transaction instead of a love-filled act for God and others? Have we done nothing more than provide something for being generous (despite what our charitable contribution receipts specifically have to note)? Has our “generosity” degenerated into nothing more than a transaction to purchase a good name?
Lord, help me to give secretly knowing you see all that is done in secret and you will indeed reward me, and to not give to receive the passing praise of others but to receive the enduring reward from your hand.
[originally blogged on May 30, 2012 at bluechippastor.org]
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Community: Biblical and Theological Reflections in Honor of August H. Konkel
Pentecostal Theological Education in the Majority World: The Graduate and Post-Graduate Level. Vol. 1
Receiving Scripture in the Pentecostal Tradition: A Reception History
A Theology of the Spirit in the Former Prophets: A Pentecostal Perspective
"Emerging Homiletics: A Pentecostal Response" in
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- Hearing the Prophets on Justice: A Response April 27, 2021
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You raise good questions, Rick. Human nature being what it is,I think we always need to guard against evil motives. Perhaps somewhat selfishly, I tend to go in the opposite direction of the Pharisees. I try to keep my giving as secret as possible and I decline reciprocal gifts if they are offered because I prefer to receive any “rewards” for my giving from Jesus. Also, I don’t want people thinking I’m better than I really am. Well, maybe just a little.
Haha. I totally understand. I find a battle within myself to do the good that I do in secret. I pray the Lord help me to do all for His praise and reward.