Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father Who is in heaven.
So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father Who sees what is done in secret will reward you.
When I listen to public radio, donor foundations bear personal names. As do hospitals, museums, buildings, prizes, pledges, funds, grants, trusts, towns and schools. Generous people enjoy the credit, so those coming later may honor them. But will the applause of generations help such donors when they exit this earth?
Therein, God advises the opposite. He tells His children to give privately: not to solicit undue attention, because whatever we give isn't ours. When I see my grandsons fighting for toys, screaming the selfish words, 'It's mine, it's mine,' I have one inarguable response: 'You don't own anything and never will. It belongs to God--and He likes to share.'
'Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights' (James 1:17). 'The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it' (Psalm 24:1).
Regarding feelings of entitlement, congratulations for a job well done, or giving God's property to others... Our Lord instructs us to rehearse these Words: 'We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty' (Luke 17:10).
Actors, models and talent for Christ: America reveres show business, and you're called to show God within it. Even so, keep your giving private. Because the awards the Lord bestows will surpass the eulogies of men.
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Do-Gooders series.