Bible with Cross ShadowTake 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. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly. Matthew 6:1-4

As we move to Matthew 6, we discover that Jesus also had some “do not do” sayings. These provide a strong reminder that avoiding ungodly behavior is as important as doing the right things; that there is a resisting the Devil and His temptation. And let’s not forget the temptations of the world and our flesh.

Our flesh is fed by the praise of others (two forces working together). Our unrenewed mind reasons, “Why shouldn’t our charitable deeds be noticed? They are good examples for others.” The obvious answer is “Jesus said so”, and that is enough; but it is not all we have been given to understand.

In the kingdom of God, there is enmity between God and the world. He will not mix His reward with the rewards of the world. This is a strong and sobering warning. There is absolutely no room for mixture. We must be careful and persistent in the searching of our hearts (Psalm 139:23-24). What is the motivation for our charitable deeds?

Furthermore, we must be careful not to fall into old and subtle habits. The best intentions can be subverted by what may seem to be harmless patterns. For example, writing your check while sitting in church is allowing the left hand to know what the right hand is doing.

Our seeking after glory from men, intentionally or not, is a danger to our brother and sister in Christ. When the left hand sees the right hand doing charitable deeds, their eyes are distracted from the Giver of all good things, and they are tempted to give glory to the instrument of that giving. In too many circumstances, the left hand begins giving glory in his heart to man; even envying that man for what he has to give.

Lastly, it is the Father’s heart to reward His children, even openly. For the one whose heart is set on the Father’s pleasure, such reward comes with a surprising sweetness. Why would the Potter reward such lumps of clay? Because He loves us, and He can.

The keys to our doing this “do not do” saying of Jesus is first, be intentional in not doing; and second, to remember that we are only instruments of His righteousness. We have become the righteousness of God, but not righteousness itself. We become that righteousness through the exchange of our life for that of Christ Jesus. He is our righteousness.

But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.” 1Corinthians 1:30-31

God bless you with wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him; that you would be His instrument and know His pleasure.

Humbly yours and forever His,