“Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father. When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win the praise of others. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing, so that your almsgiving may be secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.” — Matthew 6:1-4
Christian Bible Lesson Overview
The Christian Lesson taught us to contribute to the needy secretly to gain credit from God. As with all the Christian Lessons, following the instruction not only pleases God, but it improves your life and the lives you affect.
I created a Bible Study learning outline that reviewed the Sermon On The Mount about two years ago. Contributing to the Needy in secret was one of the lessons I included in the outline. While preparing for the Bible Study Class, I thought about the reasons to keep my contributions to the Needy between God and me. Of course, the fact that God will not acknowledge the contribution if it is public was vital. I also tried to see the benefits of anonymity in daily life. I knew that it is important to have the appropriate motives for following Christian Lessons, but it seemed there were more reasons to follow the lesson.
Christian Bible Lesson for Today
Almost a year later, a forest fire destroyed the town of Paradise in Northern California. I spent my grade school and high school years in Paradise. Learning the news about the fire devastated me. I had many friends who were displaced by the fire. Many of them were living in tents or rented travel trailers so they could stay on their property. I talked with my sister, who was living in a town near Paradise. She had contact information for some of my friends. I reached some of my friends on Facebook.
My wife Charity and I thought about the best way to help people who were struggling to survive. I thought about the Christian Lesson of giving anonymously. I contacted one friend who was living in Paradise in a travel trailer. She gave a list of the items most people needed. I asked where the items could be purchased locally since all the stores were lost. She said that there was a Lowes Store in a town called Chico, about eight miles away.
After reviewing the Christian Lesson, we decided to purchase gift cards from Lowes. I sent the gift cards to the friend who talked to me about the needs of the people who were still living in Paradise. Then I asked her to give the cards to the people who needed them. I asked her not to tell anyone I was the source of the cards.
I felt good about following the Christian Lesson. I knew I followed God’s instruction to the best of my ability.
Three months later, at Paradise High School my graduating class had a reunion. My wife and I attended the reunion. It was during the reunion I learned the benefit of following the Christian Lesson in my personal life. I was able to spend time with my friends and learn how the gift cards helped them. Since they did not know, Charity and I were the sources of the gift cards, our discussions with my friends were not burdened with them feeling obligated to acknowledge the gifts and I could feel good that our gift was for their benefit with no strings attached.
Christian Bible Lesson Summary
As with all the Christian Lessons, after following the lesson many additional benefits surfaced. Now, I understand the reasons to give anonymously.