Secret Giving #4 – Did you see that?
John Hubbard | Worship Leader
Whether it was recess as a young boy or with a group of friends a couple of weeks ago, picking teams has always brought on the same feeling. It does not matter what game, dodgeball to basketball, horseshoes to Scrabble. There is that moment when everyone looks around and paints their own set of numbers and ranks on each player. Everyone thinks back to what applicable skills he or she has seen out of each person while warming up. If you had the foresight to know this standoff was coming, you made sure to show some of your best skills so that you could end up on the best team, or at least keep yourself from being last picked.
As useful as getting yourself noticed might be when it comes to playful competition, we tend to believe that it is a universal truth that it can work for everything. In reality, we see hardly any difference between being a “go-getter” and showing off when it is about getting noticed by the boss. When it is about getting noticed or not noticed, we would often rather take the recognition. At the same time, we also know the difference it will make between slipping a check in the offering bucket for kids to go to camp written in the memo instead of walking over to the children’s room and going full Oprah on the kids’ stage, “and YOU get to go to camp, and YOU get to go to camp!” Man, what an impact that would have, they would love it. The kids would love me.
“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.”
As great of an impact as you would make, if you try to make it all yourself, it pales in comparison to the impact God can make. You might feel satisfied with your impact, and sure, kids will get to go to camp and be forever changed by the Gospel either way, but you will take God’s reward away from yourself, you will not get to say, “but hey God, I did that great thing back there, remember?” As a Children’s Director, it feels weird to use that as an example; I would love to have kids get sent to camp and I do not want to discourage you from giving at all. If you seek a reward from me I can tell you I will do my best to reward you, but I do not want you to be confused about which reward is greater, surely no man’s praise can stand up to the reward that comes from Heaven.
“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. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”