Have They Lost Their Reward?

Q. Re: Giving in Secret. I know of a couple who have faithfully given sacrificially towards supporting numerous missionaries for many years. On a few select occasions, they have tried to encourage others to embrace the joy of generous giving to get the Gospel out and in doing so, referred to what they have learned and in the process some reference to what they do was made. Would this be a case of losing heavenly reward?

A. I’ve received a number of questions on this topic. Most of them have been asking me to confirm exceptions to the Lord’s “don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing” warning where our giving is concerned (Matt. 6:3). But it’s not for me or anyone else to say what is or is not acceptable. Jesus gave us an outrageous negative example of givers who hired trumpeters to announce their acts of giving so everyone would turn to watch them (Matt. 6:2). Most people don’t resort to such extremes.

Pride is a powerful emotion and spiritual pride is the worst kind. It can cause us to come up with very creative ways to make others aware of the good we’re doing without appearing to do so. This is why the Lord cautioned us to be so secretive in our giving.

Only the Lord knows the motive of our heart, so only He can tell if we’re motivated by pride in what we’ve done. But I will say this. The Lord doesn’t need us to convince others to give to our causes. When He wants money for something He knows how to get it.

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