Understanding the Discipline of Giving

1 “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. (Matt. 6:1-4, NLT)

The challenge in any discipline is doing it for KINGDOM purposes, and not our own purposes. It is an incredibly difficult challenge to keep our own egos out of the equation.

The discipline of giving should bring us to a place where we learn to look to the needs of others first and then find our needs met by our Father in heaven.

The power of giving is not found in the amount we give and how loudly we proclaim that in front of others. If we want to do it that way, we have our reward right then. This, of course, doesn’t seem to bother a lot of people. They like the attention.

But that isn’t the Kingdom of God. If the Father is to be pleased, then we learn to give in a way that takes attention away from us and focuses on the need and the Kingdom.

Our social media crazes have truly challenged us on this concept. We do everything for the photo op, and the Facebook post, and the Twitter post… etc.

Let this be our challenge in the days ahead: find the opportunity to give to some need without anyone knowing. Don’t post it on Facebook. Don’t tweet it. Don’t even take a picture. Double check to see if anyone else is watching… and make sure as much as possible no one is watching. Then give.

Last year I watched a student from the college where I teach step out to give to a homeless person. She had no idea anyone else was watching. When I thanked her later for the incredible generosity, she was a bit embarrassed. She didn’t do it for the recognition. She had done it out of compassion in that moment.

Give like no one is looking. Let it tear down the idols of self-promotion. Let it build the Kingdom.

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