How to Lend a Hand

In Matthew 6 Jesus begins to focus on doing the right actions with the right motives.  It is pretty easy for us to do the right things for the wrong reasons, but when we do that we miss out on the reward that God has for us.  Since we talked about the idea of rewards on Sunday morning, I won’t spend a lot of time talking about that.  Let’s read Matthew 6:1-4:  “Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly. 

One of the key words in these verses is the word “hypocrite” in verse 2.  What Jesus is warning against is pretending to have an attitude and heart to help the needy when what you are really most interested in is receive praise from men.  The phrase “do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing” is a phrase that implies that as you walk along, you can quickly and unobtrusively give someone some money or food with your right hand in a way that your “left hand” doesn’t even know what happened.  Giving is just a natural part of life without any fanfare or attention being drawn.  That is how to “lend a hand”.

We are all in situations like this from time to time and I think that if we are going to “err” on lending a hand, let’s err on the side of helping too much, not helping too little.  That is consistent with Jesus words in Matthew 5:42.  The other great benefit to lending a hand the right way is that God notices.  God sees.  Since we are to live our lives to please Him first and foremost, it is a blessing to know that God will see what we have done and will reward us. Exactly what that reward entails we won’t know and we might not know until we get to heaven.  But we know it is going to be GOOD!  Perhaps God will bring someone along your path this week to whom you can “lend a hand”?


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