Bible Study Lesson, Matthew 6:1-4
Many famous people, including the character Jed Clampett from the TV show, “The Beverly Hillbillies” quoted;
“There’s no better feeling than the joy that comes from giving.”
What Did Jesus Really Say about Giving to the Needy?
“Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.
So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men.
Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.
But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” – Matthew 6:1-4 NASB
Why Do We Give?
A picture entered my mind as I read this passage.
The image was of two people holding a gigantic check and shaking hands in front of several TV cameras giving to a very worthwhile cause. You’ve seen them, haven’t you?
Motives in Giving
I am not condemning this practice because I know this is normally a corporate affair and part of their advertising campaign and giving to people in need is a good thing no matter who gives, but it still strikes me that they are “announcing it with trumpets” as Christ stated.
This is not always confined to the corporate world as I have seen many people boast about giving to charities or other causes.
The True Spirit of Giving
When I think of giving in secret as Jesus suggested, I think of another word; integrity. It is said that integrity is what you do when no one is looking. Giving should be done in the same spirit.
It is much easier to do what is right when we gain recognition and praise.
I’m pretty sure our motives are not selfish but we should do our good deeds quietly or in secret, with no thought of reward. We should do it out of compassion and love as Jesus commanded.
Jesus says we should check our motives in three areas:
- and fasting
Those acts should not be self-centered, done not to make us look good but to make God look good.
For instance, if we fast and then brag about how many days we went without then we have missed the whole point of fasting to begin with. The only reason we should fast is to bring us closer to God.
What is Our Benefit?
The reward God promises in verse four is not material, and it is never given to those who seek it. Doing something only for ourselves is not a loving sacrifice.
With your next good deed ask this question; ‘Would I still do this even if no one ever knew I did it?
Then ask yourself; “What did Jesus say about giving to the needy?” This will give you the true answer.
Love in Christ
If you would like to know more about how to receive the love and life-changing experience of Jesus Christ, please take a moment to see John 3:16 .
Read Today’s Verses Here:
New American Standard Bible
New King James Version