God grant you the light in Christmas, which is faith;
the warmth of Christmas, which is love;
the radiance of Christmas, which is purity;
the righteousness of Christmas, which is justice;
the belief in Christmas, which is truth;
& all of Christmas, which is Christ.
--Wilda English

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Matthew 6:1-4

I have had experiences, recent & in times past, where a person tells me to my face, sends me an email, or posts on their blog about something nice they have done for someone.  Here are a few examples:

1.  In 2011, the northeast coast of Japan experienced a devastating earthquake & tsunami.  A family member made it a point to tell me they sent a hefty amount of money to a relief organization to help the survivors. 

2.  A few years ago, a friend recounted to me how that morning she had been in the drive-through line at a local Starbucks-type establishment.  She said that when she reached the window & was presented with her bill, she asked the cashier to give her the bill for the person in the car behind her as well.  She paid for her own order & for the stranger's order.

3.  A person I know is a Tupperware dealer. She told me recently that a charity event was being organized at a local hospital.  She then stated that she told the person organizing this event that she would set up a table to sell Tupperware & that she would donate her commission from her sales to the charity.

4.  On a blog I used to follow, the blogger once posted about how she was in a grocery store standing behind a young mother in the 10 Items or Less line.  The girl did not have enough money to pay for the few items she had wanted to purchase, & she was asking the cashier to remove one item, then another, until she could pay the bill.  The blogger said to the girl & to the cashier "Please allow me to take care of it," & she paid for all the items this girl had wanted to purchase.  This blog post generated a flood of comments from this person's followers, praising her as well as telling about similar things they had done.

Why?  Why tell people about your good deeds?  This is the only reason I can think of that people do this.
They want a pat on the back.  They want the praise of others. 

People like this make me very uncomfortable. I kind of pity them, to tell you the truth.  In Matthew 6:1-4, Jesus tells us ... 

"But when you do righteous acts, do not do them in front of spectators.  Don't do them where you can be seen, let alone lauded, by others.  If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.  When you give to the poor, do not boast about it, announcing your donations with blaring trumpets as the play actors do.  Do not brazenly give to charity in the synagogues & on the streets; indeed, do not give at all if you are giving because you want to be praised by your neighbors.  Those people who give in order to reap praise have already received their reward.  When you give to the needy, do it in secret - even your left hand should not know what your right hand is doing.  Then your Father, who sees in secret, will reward you."

I don't know about you, but I want the approval of God, not the approval of men. The next time you feel like telling others about some good deed you have done or will be doing ... which is really bragging ... stop & consider what you are about to do. Then keep your mouth shut & your fingers away from the keyboard, & instead thank God for giving you the opportunity to be a blessing to someone.


gracie said...

Good words.....

Maggee said...

I have thought the same thing, many times when I hear or see such boasting. It's a delicate balance to stay in the Word. I am not perfect by any means, but I do try to remember my foundation. Hugs!

cucki said...

Beautiful post..
Sending you big hugs c

Vicki said...

What a great post, Shirlee!

Ma Teakettle said...

I never understand why some people are unable to find peace within their own heart for a good deed, but I guess that perhaps part of their own journey may be to learn how to not need the approval of others…however as all things it's between them and God.
Great post

Robin said...

Well said, Shirlee! Hope you are enjoying your day!

Robin in Virginia

Kaisievic said...

I know exactly what you mean, Shirlee. In my book club there is a friend who every Christmas makes a big song and dance about how we need to have our group christmas meal cooked by Ethiopian refugees or she guilts us into making big donations to yet some other obscure cause, etc. What annoys me is that this all presupposes that none of us are ever charitable except for her. Oooh, it makes me so mad - she doesn't know what charities I donate to or how much i give and it is none of her business! Oh, Shirlee, you have hit a nerve here, I can tell you.

Vickie said...

Amen! Thinking of you and praying for you each day this week in preparation for your surgery.

KimM said...

Well said.

capecodgirl565 said...

Bingo! Well put.

laceystitcher said...

I just found your blog via another blog, but your stand on RAK's is well put. It is also a good reminder to do RAK's.

I pray special blessings for you as you prepare for your surgery! God will take care of you.