Rightly Motivated Giving (Matthew 6:1-4)

Submitted by admin on Fri, 2007-11-30 14:02.

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When the carrying out of “righteousness” or right deeds has as its objective to be seen by others with a view to gaining their esteem, this has no value in the eyes of God. After urging his listeners to guard against practicing their righteousness before people to be seen by them, Jesus said that a failure to do so would lead to receiving no reward from the heavenly Father. (Matthew 6:1)

Showy public display should not accompany rendering aid to those in need. In their giving, hypocrites trumpeted what they were doing, making it as noticeable as possible. In the synagogues and on the streets, where others could see them, they did their giving. They wanted to appear as compassionate persons and be “glorified” or praised in glowing terms as being generous and caring. Thus they revealed themselves to be hypocrites, for they were primarily interested in the favorable recognition their giving would bring and did not have genuine concern for the needy. (Matthew 6:2)

Jesus solemnly declared with an introductory “amen” (truly), “I say to you, They have received their reward.” Aside from the praise they craved, no other reward would they be getting. For giving to have value in God’s eyes, Jesus said that the right hand should not know what the left hand is doing. Aid to those in need as an expression of care and compassion should be extended in “secret,” without any public display. The heavenly Father who witnesses what is hidden from human view will then recompense rightly motivated kindnesses. (Matthew 6:2-4)