Not To Be Seen By Others | Morning Routine Daily Devotional for December 16
“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your…
“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 is teaching crowds of people through what is commonly called The Sermon on the Mount. This sermon, found in Matthew 5-7, contains much of Jesus’ core teachings. Many of these topics are practical and apply to us in the same way that they applied to the original audience. In Matthew 6 specifically, Jesus offers three teachings centered around not practicing righteous deeds in order to be seen by others.
In today’s text, Jesus notes that the purpose of giving is to glorify the Lord, not ourselves. Jesus encourages His followers to have a pure heart in the matter of giving, that they would receive a better reward—a reward that comes from God in heaven. Jesus isn’t discouraging His followers from being generous. In verse two, Jesus says, “when you give,” implying that generosity is expected of those who follow Christ. But when believers give, they should not intentionally bring attention to themselves but give glory to God for blessing them so graciously. Jesus tells His listeners to not let their left hand know what their right hand is doing! He’s telling His people to give in secret and their Father, in heaven, will reward them.
As a parent, educator, or Christian leader: I encourage you to measure your heart as you donate your time and resources. Rest assured that God notices you and will reward your generosity and obedience to Him! But as for you, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.