Be good to others
But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, Matthew 6:3
Have you ever done something good or nice for someone and then nobody even notice or acknowledged it. Maybe you felt slighted or maybe you let others know, because you wanted them to know see a good person you are? If you have, you are not alone. In fact, most people want to be notice when doing good and most people are willing to let everyone they talk to know just how wonderful they are. You might even go so far as criticize others for not thanking you or rewarding you because of your good behavior.
Well, in today’s text, Jesus is teaching that charitable (good) deeds should be done in secret. What? Nobody should know about them? That’s right. Jesus said that if you are doing good things just so others will notice you or when others are looking, that is all the reward you will get for those deed. He will not acknowledge them, and they will have no eternal value.
However, He continues in this teaching by saying, when you help others in secret, just because you care about people, then He will personally reward you openly. The important part is putting your focus on helping others, not on how good you are.
The fact is that when you do good things just so other can notice you or compliment you, your works are full of pride and selfishness. Your goodness has little to do with who you are helping and is all about you stepping in to look like a hero that everyone should admire.
Lastly, maybe you are someone who is going through a crisis and think “I can’t even think about doing a good deed because of my situation. I am stuck in a mess, and that is all I have time to focus on right now.” In reality, turning your attention to help or encourage someone else in their struggle also comes with the reward of giving you a different and new perspective on your own circumstances. When you purposefully put aside your own concerns, and secretly decide to comfort a friend through their dilemma, your problem will no longer be the main event in your life. It has to take a back seat to the person you are helping, and now your purpose in life, at least for a little while becomes supporting others in their struggle. In helping others, you are helping yourself.
Today I want to encourage you to do good for others. Watch for opportunities to step out and help people throughout your day. Not because you want to be the hero and recognized as a do-gooder, but because you care about people and want to show them how much God loves them by loving them, yourself. Then keep it a secret. Pray for those you have helped in private and then watch how your reward and recognition comes directly from heaven. Your heavenly Father is depending on you to help grow His kingdom, and it can only be done when you make others your focus.
Today’s scripture reading: Matthew 6:1-4
1 “Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven.
2 Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.
3 But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,
4 that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.