Daily D – Matthew 6:1
Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. Otherwise, you have no heard with your Father in heaven.
MATTHEW 6:1 (CSB)
“Be especially careful when you are trying to be good so that you don’t make a performance out of it. It might be good theater, but the God who made you won’t be applauding.” (The Message)
There are two sides to a coin. Jesus here makes it pretty plain that one side of the coin is that we are not to practice our righteousness or charitable giving in such a manner that our real motive is not solving problems but seeking recognition. Do not give to impress. Give to serve.
The other side of the coin is found in 1 Chronicles 28 and 29. King David set up his son Solomon for success in part by giving everything he had to build the temple once he passed away and Solomon was in charge. Every dollar David had in reserve had a name and an assignment. There was nothing for anyone to argue about after he was gone. He made sure to bless the kingdom from beyond the grave.
How will you give to build God’s kingdom from beyond the grave? How have you assigned what wealth you have to honor God and to bless others? How will you do it so that people talk about how good God is rather than how good you are?
What is appropriate disclosure regarding how you give? A church I served along the way was building a new worship center. The financial campaign guys we hired said it was important for the church to know how much my wife and I were sacrificing toward our financial goal.
The question in my heart and mind was whether to tell the dollar figure or the percentage we were giving above and beyond our regular tithe. We settled on telling the percentage. Inevitably, one guy proclaimed, “That’s not that much.” I guess we met the challenge of Matthew 6:1 for that guy. He was not impressed.
It was tempting to explain to him and others the rest of the story. He did not see what we were already giving before that additional commitment. He did not know our family’s financial situation. I could go on. We knew all of those details. We knew the sacrifice we were making was indeed a real sacrifice. We were much less concerned with what he thought than in what God knew.
Live and give generously. Give what you have under God’s leadership. Give obediently. Give lovingly. Do not try to impress people. Honor God and serve others through giving wisely, systematically, strategically, and as anonymously as possible.
I will give generously and as anonymously as possible.
Our Father, everything we have came from your hand. Nothing is ultimately ours. Teach us to live generously. Show us how to invest in others appropriately. Give us the satisfaction of honoring you without the complication of acclaim by others. Amen.
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Genesis 26:26-31 Meanwhile, Abimelek had come to him from Gerar, with Ahuzzath his personal adviser and Phicol the commander of his forces. 27 Isaac asked them, “Why have you come to me, since you were hostile to me and sent me away?”
28 They answered, “We saw clearly that the LORD was with you; so we said, ‘There ought to be a sworn agreement between us’—between us and you. Let us make a treaty with you 29 that you will do us no harm, just as we did not harm you but always treated you well and sent you away peacefully. And now you are blessed by the LORD.”
30 Isaac then made a feast for them, and they ate and drank. 31 Early the next morning the men swore an oath to each other. Then Isaac sent them on their way, and they went away peacefully.
Genesis 22:13, 14 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.
Genesis 21:1-3 Now the LORD was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did for Sarah what he had promised. 2 Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. 3 Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him.
Genesis 17:1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless.
Genesis 6:9 This is the account of Noah and his family.
Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.