1 “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. 2 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. 3 But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly” (Matthew 6:1–4, NKJV).
Acts of charity ought to be driven by compassion, not by seeking the accolades of men. Jesus addressed the motive of helping the needy by contrasting the public displays of the hypocrites with acts of kindness that escape the attention of others. If our motive for helping others is to be seen and honored, that is the only reward we will have. On the other hand, we will not seek attention when compassion moves us to help the needy. We will not go around telling people what we did; We just do it. People may not see our acts of compassion, and that’s okay. The Father in heaven does, and He will reward us. The good Samaritan, who unhesitatingly helped a stranger, sets the example for us (Luke 10:29-37). Moved with compassion, he was a neighbor to the man in need, caring for him immediately and arranging for his ongoing needs. Compassion for those in distress moves citizens of the kingdom to act, not for men’s praise, but to relieve suffering and honor God.
At Joppa there was a certain disciple named Tabitha, which is translated Dorcas. This woman was full of good works and charitable deeds which she did. (Acts 9:36, NKJV)
Tabitha’s name in the Greek language was Dorcas, which meant “gazelle.” Like a light-footed antelope blessed with speed, agility, and grace, Dorcas moved about graciously meeting the needs of others by her good works and charitable deeds. She personifies “pure and undefiled religion” that relieves “orphans and widows in their trouble” (Jas. 1:27). With the faith of a worthy woman, she extended her hand to the poor and needy by making clothing items for them (Acts 9:39; Prov. 31:19-20). Her acts of kindness blessed others’ lives and enriched the cause of the gospel (cf. Acts 9:31). Women of all ages will draw closer to God by imitating her faith. We also learn that it does not take some great and grand thing to get God’s attention. Simple acts of faith that serve others are seen and rewarded by the Lord (Matt. 25:34-40). Jesus said, “And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward” (Matt. 10:42). Dorcas was “rewarded” with being raised from the dead (Acts 9:37-41). No doubt, her restored life meant she continued her good works and compassionate deeds. But her lasting reward is eternal life in Christ (Matt. 25:34, 46). May we lay up treasures in heaven by following her example of faith (1 Tim. 6:17-19).
1 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. 2 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. 3 But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly. (Matthew 6:1–4, NKJV)
Giving to the poor is undeniably a way Christians “do good to all” (Gal. 6:10). The rich are reminded to be “ready to give” (1 Tim. 6:17-18). (In today’s world, most of us qualify as rich.) We should look for and use our opportunities to help others. When we do, God sees the motive of our heart. Jesus said we ought to seek God’s honor and not the praise of men for our acts of charity. To announce our charitable deed is like blowing a trumpet before us so they will know how generous we are. It is selfish hypocrisy to help others out of a heart that wants others to honor us for it. Though honored by people, such will not be rewarded by God. Let us do our charitable deeds from a heart of compassion. In due time, we will reap what we have sown (Gal. 6:7-10).