Thursday, January 16, 2014

Does your right hand know?

I was trying to think of an introduction for this post, but it just wasn't coming to me. So I'm jumping right in.

I've seen a lot of good things going on lately. GREAT things. People doing nice things for others, attitudes getting better, lots of helping hands and ministries. And I think that is SO wonderful. I really do. But I've also heard a lot of people telling me and others about the wonderful things they're doing. And it's kiiiiiiinda rubbing me the wrong way.

Please hear my heart in this. I don't for a minute think you're a bad person or shamefully advertising your wonderful-ness if you're talking about something nice you've done. That's not it. And if you're in a discussion where you're sharing what you learned from it or ideas for ways to minister to others, that's a whole other ball game.

But I feel like sometimes people share what they've done to get a pat on the back. To hear someone praise their efforts and tell them what a good person they are. I don't think some people even realize they're doing it. And I totally get that. I've DONE it--multiple times in my lifetime. It's really hard to do something nice for someone that's out of your comfort zone or take a risk to help someone and not get any recognition from it.

But about 5 years ago, an awesome lady in my life (who I won't name for the sheer fact that this post is all about remaining anonymous!) did something amazingly nice for somebody and I found out only by having caught a few details from the giver and the receiver that made me put two and two together to figure out what had happened. I asked this wonderful lady why she did what she did in secret. First of all, she was embarrassed and mildly annoyed that I had found out because she was trying so hard to keep it secret. And second of all, she quoted this verse in the Bible that has changed my view on giving:

Matthew 6:2--"So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 3 "But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you."

It really made me think about my motivation for giving. Was it to please God or to make myself feel good? It feels SO great to give and it should, but you need to make sure that's not the only reason you're doing it. We should help others because it's what God has instructed us to do--that's how we can share His love.

So my challenge to you is this. Do something nice for somebody once a week for four weeks and don't. tell. a. SOUL. Buy breakfast for someone behind you in the drive thru.....leave a cup of coffee on a co-workers desk when they're not looking....type a note of encouragement for someone and leave it in their mail box....give money to the people standing on the corner. And I think you'll find that it feels even better to know that you and God and the person you helped are the only ones that know it! It becomes fun--like some kind of secret mission (cue the Mission Impossible theme song!).

1 comment:

Lindsay Eastridge said...

Ooohhh...I love a good challenge!!!