Monday, May 13, 2019

Give generously, but don’t brag….

Matthew 6: 1 "Be careful not to parade your acts of tzedakah (almsgiving/tithing) in front of people in order to be seen by them! If you do, you have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2 So, when you do tzedakah, don't announce it with trumpets to win people's praise, like the hypocrites in the synagogues and on the streets. Yes! I tell you, they have their reward already! 3 But you, when you do tzedakah, don't even let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. 4 Then your tzedakah will be in secret; and your Father, who sees what you do in secret, will reward you. (CJB)

NOTE: It doesn’t take that proverbial “rocket scientist” to figure out that this passage asserts that giving should be done anonymously, without fanfare or bragging. We cannot expect a reward from Heaven if we’re doing our giving for the purpose of receiving public recognition. After all, it’s YHWH we are trying to please; NOT “the world.”

In other words, Yeshua is teaching that what our friends and peers think of us, is irrelevant! What is important is our relationship with YHWH.

Of course, this teaching didn’t make Yeshua popular among the rich religious leaders of the time, who liked the spotlight on themselves and were, consequently, giving off the wrong signals. (See Job 13:10; Proverbs 18:11; and all of Matthew 23.)

The same principle also pertains to praying.  Take a look:

Matthew 6: 5 "When you pray, don't be like the hypocrites, who love to pray standing in the synagogues and on street corners, so that people can see them. Yes! I tell you, they have their reward already! 6 But you, when you pray, go into your room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. Your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 "And when you pray, don't babble on and on like the pagans, who think God will hear them better if they talk a lot. 8 Don't be like them, because your Father knows what you need before you ask him. (CJB)

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