“Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven.”
We learn early on that it is not proper to discuss money except in limited cases in our society. Protocols for speaking about money are probably helpful as they keep us from burrowing into someone else’s business. A healthy distance is not a bad thing.
But, did you know that Bible discusses money quite often? Money and material items are mentioned over 800 times in the Bible. Jesus teaches us about giving in chapter 6 of this sermon. Let’s examine what He said.
A fundamental underpinning for Christ’s teaching in vs. 2-18 is found in v. 1. It is do not serve God to be seen by others. Our motivation for serving, giving, praying, and fasting is not the attention of others but the attention of God. We should serve and give quietly and humbly and not to be seen of men.
Teachings such as this are quite the opposite of what we hear in our world today. We are bombarded with messages about self-promotion, self-aggrandizement, and self-awareness. We want others to know what we are doing because we love the pats on the back and the praise of men and women.
The praise of others is nice but it is not long lasting. At times, the same people who praise you one day are just as liable to criticize you the next day. Recognition is ok but it tends to be shallow and short-lived.
It is far better to do our works for the praise of God. May we seek to be God-pleasers first and not man/woman-pleasers. If we do, we shall be rewarded by God.
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