"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. Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 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." Matthew 6:1-4 (ESV)
Jesus, in speaking to the Pharisees, was telling them that righteousness is not just between people, but also between God and man. Remember the motive in your giving and who ultimately is to receive the glory of your kind acts.
You all know as well as I do that people don't always receive your gifts graciously. Some folks just look to get over on you and don't think that you know it. Some take the money or a gift as if it was your job to give them something. As shocking as it may seem, that really shouldn't be if you understand the scope of sin.
We are all sinners, but it is not an excuse to continue in your sin. This is the hard part of when being a follower of Christ comes into play; this is where the cute little song about letting your light shine becomes real. To react in a "worldly" manner is to be like everyone else. If you say, "It's alright, I still love him," people take notice and the individual you are helping takes notice. Your light is on full blast at that point. Don't get me wrong, I still make the mistakes of reacting like Scott instead of Christ...but I'm getting better at it than I was before. That is the key, wanting to be like Jesus and less like you every day. It is more than talk; it is actually contending with your sinful nature to do what is right before God and people.
Why is it that some people are successful and some are not? Why is it that some get off drugs and some do not? At some point, a person has to be willing to do the "hard thing" and make it a lifestyle. As the song goes, "This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine!" The song is not so cute anymore, but the temporary discomfort of obedience at the time will pay big dividends not only in this life, but also in the life to come.
That is where the relationship with God counts. He sees what you do and it doesn't matter what the person you help does; it it an act of obedience to God, not an act to impress men.
"I'm gonna let it shine..."
Posted on Fri, July 29, 2011
by Scott Stevenson