Welcome to your morning coffee! May our Heavenly Father inspire us by the Holy Spirit to give to those in need around us, and to do so in secret. Father, there is no simpler example of giving you the glory than to give to others in secret. Help us to set aside our pride and desire to be praised, and give in a way that puts the focus on you. Thank you for how you have loved us, Father. Thank you for teaching us and growing us into the likeness of your Son Jesus. Please, in Jesus's name and by the power of the Spirit within us, help us to give and live in a way that makes more of you and less of us! Amen.
Your Morning Song: "Go Tell it on the Mountain" by Reawaken Hymns
Your Morning Scripture: Matthew 6:2-4
“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 others. Truly I tell you, 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.
Yesterday we discussed what sort of gifts we are giving this Christmas. It is helpful to remind ourselves that while the Gospel of our Savior, Jesus, is the greatest gift we can give, the other gifts we give are a part of our sharing Jesus.
The materialistic things we give each other can be bad gifts if they become the whole point of Christmas. But if we give each other stuff with the right heart, then that stuff sweetly becomes an outward sign of our inward, soul-deep love for each other. And yesterday we talked specifically about giving gracious words to one another, our kind and generous speech being sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
Another perspective on giving that we should consider is this, our secret giving. We have discussed this in the past, but given the struggles of the Christmas season, it is worth returning to.
Let's just make this clear from the outset, not all giving can be secret. By nature, many of the things we are to give to one another cannot be in secret, and should not be. But there are gifts that we give, specifically in the context of Jesus's words here in Matthew 6, that should be secretly done. The phrase to pay attention to here is, "the needy."
Whenever we give we should never do so to serve ourselves, but instead we should be focused on others. And so when we can give in a way that avoids us being praised, we should do so. But when it comes to giving to "the needy" this Godly encouragement of pride-killing for all giving becomes a command.
The pharisees and other leaders of the people in Jesus's time would give to the needy as they prayed, in sight of all desiring the praise of all watching them. It was a production, a farce, a pride-stroking mockery of God's Will and desire.
When we give to the needy, we must remove our name from the process. All good gifts come ultimately from God, and so even if our part in the giving is known, God can and should be praised even as we are acknowledged. But what happens when we give in secret? Our name is removed from the gift, and only God's name remains.
Giving in secret is the surest way to make sure God gets all the glory. And as we own nothing, not even our very selves, it is wise and good and beautiful and true to remove ourselves from giving to the needy. There are very few ways to more full kill our pride than to give in secret.
Let's embrace and enjoy giving in secret this Christmas, as we have opportunity. Pray for the chance to give in this way. God will quickly answer with an opportunity! And as we take those chances to give in secret to the needy and to give the rightful glory to God, He will delight in rewarding us!