“When you give to the needy, [give] … in secret.”
It’s possible to do all the right things for all the wrong reasons. We can read our Bibles, go to church, put money in the collection plate, live an exemplary life—all as a means of serving ourselves. We may be doing these things to ease a guilty conscience, to impress others, or to try to earn God’s approval or secure blessings from God.
Jesus calls all that hypocrisy. In those days, some people went to great lengths to do all the right things for all the wrong reasons. They made public displays of giving money to the poor. They made a great fuss as they brought money to the temple. They did all they could to draw attention to themselves. But their giving was not pleasing to God, because they gave to serve their own purposes.
Jesus wants our generosity to be motivated by love and gratitude. When our hearts are awash in the richness of God’s kindness to us, our natural response should be generous giving in all areas of life—time, talents, and treasure. We should give without regard for any recognition or reward. Jesus, who was infinitely wealthy, became poor for our sake. Through his poverty, we gain riches beyond compare!
Are you generous in giving to people in need? What motivates your giving? May gratitude to our Lord always be our guide.
Jesus, soak our hearts in the beauty of your generosity and kindness so that we can overflow with grateful giving. For your sake, Amen.
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