GIVE IN SECRET
Matt. 6:1-4 “Be careful not to do your acts of righteousness before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 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. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” NIV
You have taught me to be more giving than I was in the past and this has its own reward. It feels good to give. I can see it would be easy to feel self-righteous about any giving I do, feeling pride in it and wanting to be admired or honored by others. It bothers me when Christians give with the understanding that their name will be made public as the donor. While I do want to please others I’m not comfortable being honored. I want to only bring honor to You.
Help me to be on guard against pride in my giving. Help me always remember that the giving I do is inspired by You. Until I learned Your way of love, my nature mostly kept money and things for myself. Self-centeredness continues, but less so. I’m sure there are other areas in which I am a hypocrite – deceitful, prideful and self-centered. Reveal these to me and change me, Lord.
PRAY IN SECRET
Matt. 6:5-8 When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men….But when you pray go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret will reward you. And when you pray do not keep on babbling…. for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. NIV
I pray I am not like the hypocrites. Studying this has shown me how many times You warn about being hypocritical. Yet we all have our pretenses and a desire for attention or even acclaim. Show me sins in this area and help me be real - with no pretense in me. Paul says in Roman:12:9 “Let love be sincere,” which means literally unhyocritical. I enjoy praying in secret while public praying is more difficult. I know the key to both is praying from my heart. I need to be open and real and let the Spirit pray through me. All prayer needs to focus on You, not on what others think. Show me when I’m just babbling and help me listen to You more.