Why is it so hard to be generous and anonymous?
Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. (Matthew 6:1)
Generosity is a wonderful thing; it blesses both giver and receiver. Generosity — whether in giving money, time, service, or a listening ear — is the natural outflow of grace we have received. We love because he first loved us. (1 John 4:19)
But we often feel the need to be recognized for being generous, especially for our gifts of time and service. Why is that? Do we need the affirmation of our peers? Certainly we want to be appreciated for our efforts! (We just want you to know how much work that was.) And who wants to be taken for granted?!
Perhaps the thought steals in, "What I did for you just now cost me, so now you owe me. Be nice to me. Be grateful.” And so our generosity is undone by our desire for it to be known.
No wonder Jesus commands, But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing…. (Matthew 6:3) A kindness done anonymously remains a kindness, and cannot be undone by self-centeredness. Jesus’ command blesses all involved.
Lord, help us to give spontaneously and frequently. Help us to keep our mouths shut about it in order to honor you, to protect our good impulses, and to protect those we intend to bless. Amen.
Pastor Mark loves his wife and grown children, the Word of God, and words. And coffee,
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6–7)
Christchurch Evangelical Covenant • 1900 Congress Street • Portland, Maine 04102 • 207-775-1900 • firstname.lastname@example.org