New Apostolic Church USA

Shh...It's a Secret

"Giving is Secret" Part 1 of 2 from the 2020 Winter Vision Newsletter

We are on a journey of becoming whom God has called us to be.

It is a never-ending journey, but it is one that can be filled with much joy when we recognize that our almighty, loving God is with us each step of the way. While the journey can be a joyful one, it is also one filled with struggles and challenges as we battle to defeat our old nature and allow the new creation to blossom within us and flow out in all we do. As we grow into the likeness of Jesus, we begin to separate our thoughts from the worldview of today and, instead, see the world with a kingdom perspective. We are no longer driven by the desire to be known and the need to put everything we do on display for others to see. We no longer need to show what we are doing for others and try to tell as many people as possible. We stop shining a light on ourselves and focus instead on becoming whom God created us to be and doing all things to glorify Him.

What is the motivation behind our desire to give? Do we share the good things that God has blessed us with to draw attention to ourselves and gain the praise of our fellow man? Or are we willing to share and give without any desire or need for it to be known? When we are conscious of the omniscient and omnipresent nature of God, that He sees everything that we do and knows what motivates us, we should not be fearful or ashamed, but be humbled and rejoice that He knows us so well. Then, in a god-fearing manner, we give in secret, knowing that our audience of One is the only audience that matters. Knowing that we are loved by God should free us from the entanglements of arrogance and the desire for self-praise, and allow us to bask in the light of His glory so that we can reflect His love to the world around us.

In Matthew 6:1-4, Jesus teaches a lesson to the Pharisees, and to all of us, on keeping our giving a secret to encourage humility and avoid selfpromotion. Jesus said, “Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward" (Matthew 6:1-2).

Jesus warned that the recognition and admiration of others is the reward the hypocrites receive from their generosity, but their action is not rewarded by God. Plainly stated, Jesus teaches us not to seek an audience when we give. Have you ever delayed your involvement in helping someone in need because there was no one else around to see you do it? What message does that send to the one who is in need and what does it say about the condition of your heart? If we tend to only give openly in the presence of others, then we must think that our gift is quite noteworthy. But giving in secret implies a certain modesty as we realize that our giving is quite negligible compared to the giving of the eternal One. He is the great giver of all things and our giving will never outshine His. All that we have been given comes from God, and He places us where we can share what we have received. Since He is the only audience that matters and He always sees all, we should never delay helping because there isn’t a crowd to witness our actions.

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