This morning we tackled the first part of Matthew 6.
"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 ESV)
The crux of this discussion was the motive we have as people who follow Jesus. I've seen a lot of people who attend church just go to church to people will think they are good. I've seen people dress a certain way so the world thinks they have life figured out. And when people give, well, there certainly is a temptation to be philanthropic with one eye focused on our own individual public relations team.
But on the flip side of the coin, I noticed most of the students I'm teaching this year just don't know how to give. They've not been taught because someone interpreted this section to be silent when you give. Although Jesus wants giving to be void of self righteousness, I think we need a generation that has an idea of what it means to give and sacrifice for the needy.
One University Sophomore stated, 'I know how to give because my mom and dad set an example. They let me know how they spent their money, and so I got to see two Godly people who wanted to pass on their legacy of giving to us.'
Sure we don't want to be a people who shout from the mountaintops of the earth of our exceeding ability to spread our wealth, but we also have to temper our humility with an honest mentorship.
The discussions are moving away from strict theology to start working through processes of self action today. It's a GREAT morning to learn about Matthew 5,6, and 7.