BIBLE READING: MATTHEW 6
1 Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.
2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:
4 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
We know that God loves a “cheerful giver”. Not just cheerful about giving financially, but cheerful about giving in general. We are given some specific instructions here, however, about our financial giving to the Lord.
God does not reward us for any deed that we have done for the purpose of being seen by others. It really does not matter how much we give, if we have given it to impress others, then God will not reward us for it. God says to be very careful that we do not do anything to draw attention to ourselves for the hidden purpose of being admired by others. In Jesus day, the religious hypocrites would make all kinds of noise so that people would stop and take notice as they gave their alms at the temple. Now all of us would love to just tell ourselves that we would never do anything like that, and how despicable that someone would stoop to that level. But we need to be very careful. This philosophy shows up in our lives more than we probably think.
You see, the whole point of this passage is the fight for who gets the glory. When we do things to be noticed or do things to make sure people see the good things we do, then we are the ones desiring the glory. In verse two, that’s exactly what we are told. The problem is that God is very jealous of his glory. He will not share that. God says in verse four, that we should do our best to keep secrets the things that we have done for Him. God says if we do that, then He will reward us where everyone can see it. If you give God the glory, then God gives you the reward. It is that simple. Not only should we make sure that we are cheerful givers to the Lord, let us also make sure that our cheerful giving is for the right reason, and done in the right way. If it is done with the right attitude, for the right reason, and in the right way, then only God will get the glory for anything that is done.