Reading the Word
Matthew 6:1–4 (ESV) — 1 “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. 2 “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
Understanding and Applying the Word
What is your motivation for your good deeds? Jesus addressed many who were self-righteous rule followers who loved to draw attention to themselves. He told the people not to be like the hypocrites who loved to be seen and praised by others. These people would give to the needy so they could say, “Look how good I am!”
We should be generous towards others, but our motivation must not be to draw attention to ourselves. Instead our motivation must be love for others and our love for God. We should want to help lift others up and we should desire to glorify our Lord in all we do. Let’s pray that we can learn to love like that, so that our love will be genuine and not motivated by selfish desires.
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