“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 men. I tell you the truth, 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…” Matthew 6:2-3
Giving to the needy is a very important part of the Christian life. The point of what Jesus is saying in this passage isn’t even about the giving. It was assumed that all of his Believers would give to the needy. It’s the motive behind the giving. Why do we give? To impress others? To help others? Because it was commanded?
A preacher friend of mine said that when he was a teen forty years ago, he saw an older gentleman drop a $50 bill into the offering plate. He knew it was a fifty because the man straightened it out and folded it lengthwise before dropping it into the plate. As a young boy, my friend was impressed. He paused and said, “Impressing me was the only reward he would ever receive for that gesture.”
Giving is important. The motive for our giving is perhaps even more important.