Tan: Radical reflections on the issue of giving

Straight from my heart

"Watch out! Don't do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. 2 When you give to someone in need, don't do as the hypocrites do -- blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get. 3 But when you give to someone in need, don't let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. 4 Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you." --Matthew 6:1-4 (NLT)

WE ARE oftentimes confronted with these questions "should I give?" or "should I help?" Matthew 6:1-4 is a great help, a guide to keep us from giving and helping others with the wrong motives. Let us read these verses and at the same time ask God to open our hearts and minds and fill the same with His wisdom.

See and Understand the Red flags

1. Activate your conscience

2. Assess your convictions

3. Actualize your choices

Seriously reflect on the restrictions

1. Don't do your good deeds publicly to be admired by others (v1).

2. Don't do as hypocrites do to call attention to their acts of charity.

3. Don't let your left hand know what your right hand is doing; give your gifts in private. Your Father sees everything and will reward you.

Study reverently the rewards offered

1. Ask yourself the question... am I after the rewards?

2. Analyze the sources of these rewards.

3. Answer the question...which reward I want?

4. Act on your convictions and choose.

Let us seriously ask ourselves, do we give or help others out of wanting to help those in need out of obedience to the Lord's commandments or do we help so we can bask in the glory of public adulation?

Abba, expose my addiction for public admiration. Bring to the light my desire to be known, my name printed, my generosity announced. Abba, alert my conscience, sharpen my convictions and make firm my choice to deliberately detached from this in heart and in habit. Lord, have mercy.

Abba, may my gifts be given privately, not to escape my responsibility, to share your blessings but to starve my appetite for human praise. Lord, have mercy. Amen.

Abba, let me choose to be rewarded by You rather than man. Along with this conviction is the realization and acceptance that human rewards are more appealing to my flesh than your heavenly rewards. Lord, help me surrender to you. Amen.


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