Giving To The Needy


‘Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. ‘So, when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honoured by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.’ Matthew 6:1-4

This is doing good to others, if someone does good to get some kind of recognition from people, then they have received their reward. I know that Christians are to let their light shine, but not for the purpose of drawing attention to themselves.

The Pharisees hypocritically sounded a trumpet when they gave to the poor in the streets, in drawing attention to their act of giving, they received all the reward they would receive. Christians should give in a manner by which they don’t intentionally seek the praise of people.

Here Jesus speaks about the genuine and eternal reward in heaven, on the one hand, there is ‘blowing your own trumpet’, so to speak, this speaks of the reward being short-lived, uncertain, and unsatisfying reward of popular applause or approval.

The Christian should always have respect for the greater. Christians shouldn’t give for public display, ‘look at what I’m doing’ so to speak but their giving should be as private as possible in order that our motives for giving be kept pure.

It’s worth noting that there are essential requirements for secrecy in this area of righteousness. Secrecy in giving personal aid and assistance to helpless or unfortunate people is commanded by Christ and has these obvious qualities to commend it.

1. It assures the purity of motive in the heart of the giver by removing the temptation to hypocrisy.

2. It protects and honours the privacy of the recipient, a privacy that is crucial to their recovery and restoration.

3. It protects the benefactor from receiving a load of call upon his generosity.

4. It provides a decent basis for the development of true love and friendship between the helper and the person helped.

5. It honours this specific commandment of Christ, and, to the Christian, this is the most important of all, Romans 12:6-8.

In what ways can we give?

Our time, our energy, our ears, our finances, food, water, shelter etc.

How does giving help us in terms of evangelism?

We’re demonstrating Christ-likeness, we’re pointing people to Jesus through our giving and when we do it secretly, we’re helping prevent boasting in ourselves. This is one reason why giving is a gift, it’s not just the ability to give but the ability to give secretly.