“But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that you charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.” Matthew 6:3-4 (NKJV)
Matthew 6:3-4 is an eye-opener for those of us who struggle with the need for approval and validation from others. Generally when I read about charity I think of financial giving; but this morning as I read this verse God reminded me that the motive behind what I do is just as important as the act itself. Who am I trying to please?
I am a people pleaser. I’m getting better at learning to say no, and checking my motives for what I say yes to, but it’s difficult. I want to please God and others. Clearly I cannot do both. Why? Because I have to choose between the approval of man or the reward of God. The approval of man is temporary; the reward of God eternal. It should be a simple choice … but it usually isn’t.
If I feel the need to boast of my good deeds could it be that I don’t trust God to reward me for what I do in secret? Why settle for a ‘pat on the back’ from people when you can receive an open reward from the Lord Himself?
Motive is the key factor in determining when and what to share. Is my desire to glorify God or myself? Sometimes it isn’t pride that drives us to share our good deeds. Sometimes it is excitement over the fruit produced by that deed, especially when if it had a life changing impact on someone. Sometimes the things we share can be an encouragement to others and even a motivator to spur others to serve. Just be sure to check your motives and be honest with yourself about your intent. The reward of the Lord will far surpass any self gratification we receive from the praise of men.