‘So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.Matthew 6: 2-34
By Jayna Hart
I’ll admit, I sometimes have to Google Bible verses to figure out what they mean. I’ve gotten much better over the years at taking passages from the Bible and knowing, for the most part what it means. I can typically decipher the text, enjoy the story and more importantly, the lesson.
Today was not one of those times.
What does ‘alms’ mean? Left hands and right hands? Ugh. Here’s a the same text, but NLT version:
“When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do–blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get.” But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your charitable giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.”
This makes so much more sense to me.
This is the from the Sermon on the Mount, which was a pretty big deal. The above scripture is Jesus speaking…actually, teaching. He’s teaching us to give. He’s also telling us to give purely; that giving should come from our heart, not from a place of recognition or boastfulness.
What about the left hand vs. our right hand? How am I supposed to train my brain so that my hands don’t know what each other are doing? Simply put, we should keep our giving so secret that quite possibly, one hand would know but the other wouldn’t.
I know that it feels nice when other people know about our giving, our service or our dedication and time. Have you ever had someone take credit for something you did? It feels horrible! How can any of this be a good thing? Why can’t we just all take credit for what we did and just call it good?
Okay, go ahead. Shout around the room how much you give to charities and all the good deeds you do.
Umm, good job. (Insert slow golf clap)
How did that feel? Was it nice for a moment?
Life on this earth will be hard, painful, and dreadfully unfair at times. We know this all too well with our ever-changing, busy lives. But nothing this world can throw at us can ever surpass the love of Jesus Christ living in our souls. We will be forever kept and forever free because of His sacrifice for us. We don’t need to shout around the room. We don’t need to boast or derive pleasure from spouting out all that we do for other people. The one person who matters already knows.
As for me, I continue to strive to keep living the life that Jesus Christ wants me to. A life full of love and service. My dearest blessings to each of you on this glorious day.