True Generosity

True Generosity

‘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. 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. 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. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.’ – Matthew 6:1-4

In case you were new to this blog, I just want to give some background to this post. For 5 years, I have been signed up to do 40acts, an initiative by Stewardship which encourages us to give to others during lent instead of giving something up. I have found it to life changing and faith building as I have been forced to act in ways I never would have done without knowing God was right there with me.

In recent years, I have struggled to engage with this project due to ill health and have sometimes become frustrated at how little I have been able to do. This has caused me to ask myself why I wanted to do it in the first place – why am I so upset that I can’t do these challenges? Did I sign up because I wanted recognition? Because friends were doing it and I wanted to compete with them? Because it would be a challenge? I had to think about this for a while. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that ultimately, I wanted people to smile, have a better day and perhaps get to know Jesus a little bit more because I handed them a chocolate bar or bought them a coffee without asking for anything in return.

I have recently overheard a conversation in which one person was saying to the other that they aren’t sure about the 40acts concept as it can be confusing for those around you if you are overly generous for 40 days and then ignore others the rest of the year. That’s why it is important to know why we are doing it. Why are kind and generous to others?

In Matthew 6:1-4, Jesus tells us that our generosity should be a secret act, not something we do to gain recognition and praise from others but rather something we do because we love and care about these people, God’s children, and want to bless them. He goes on tell us that when we do it this way, our Father in Heaven will reward us.

When others give, it is often because they want to be recognised and praised or because they want something in return. When we, as Christians, do these acts of generosity with a genuinely generous heart, God knows and it is very possible that He will use that situation to show a little bit of Himself to them through you.

What can you do this week that shows the generosity of God to those around you? Remember that when you act in this way without seeking praise and attention, God will bless and reward you!