When You Give

March 24
Matthew 6:1–4

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.
Illustration by Gustave Doré

Illustration by Gustave Doré

Giving is always one of those sensitive subjects; however, giving has always been a significant element of Lent. Why? There’s something about giving. Giving is a humbling, sacrificial act. Giving is also a way in which we can manifest the love of God in a tangible way. Jesus understood this when he spoke of giving in Matthew 6. Often when we do something “religious,” we want other people to see us so we can be praised for our accomplishments. Jesus, however, reminds his followers of how we should give. Rather than make a scene when we give, Jesus says that we should not “let your hand know what your right hand is doing” (Matthew 6:3). Giving should be done so secretively that our own hand doesn’t even know what the other hand has done. Obviously Jesus was speaking figuratively, but the point still stands. Jesus’s point gets to the heart of why we give. What are our motives? Are we giving to be seen by others or to honor God and serve others? 

When was the last time you gave? When was the last time you gave sacrificially? When was the last time you gave secretively? During this season of Lent, one of our primary ways to respond to the sacrificial gift of Jesus is through giving. Whether it’s opening our home up to guests, giving gifts, giving to those in need, or giving to the church, we as Christians should be focused on giving back. As we give, we humbly submit ourselves to the Lordship of Christ, reminding ourselves that what we have is not our own but a gift from God. When we give to others, we extend the love of Christ and honor God by giving. Christians should be the most generous people on earth. Perhaps during this Lent season, we can become more like Jesus, giving without end.

Reflection

  1. Have you ever given sacrificially before? If so, how did the Lord use it to grow you?
  2. In what ways can you give sacrificially of your financial resources? Think creatively.
  3. In what ways can you give sacrificially of your personal resources (i.e., time, talents, possessions)? Think creatively?