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Thread: Secret Giving as Opposed to Public Giving

  1. #21
    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    OK, part of my interest in this comes from years ago....

    A church where I was youth pastor had an annual "awards banquet", in which they gave awards to people who did notable things.

    That always felt wrong to me, because, as KG is positing, we're supposed to do these things in secret. Yet, I "got it" that this encouraged people to help out - like, they honored the bus drivers who brought the little kids to church, and stuff like that.

    And I realized at that time I was a bit legalistic, and have been contemplating this whole thing ever since.

    1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

  2. Amen ke7ejx amen'd this post.
  3. #22
    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cow Poke View Post
    But that was because --- "If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven."

    If it's the right thing to do, am I really worried whether I get my reward 'here' or 'yonder'? I think it's more important to help where needed than to worry about how I'll be rewarded for it. Again, I think you really need to look at the context - to whom Jesus was speaking, and why he was saying what He did.
    That's actually a good point. If you are doing it just to get a reward in heaven, isn't that just as selfish a motivation as doing it for the praise of men? You are only doing it to get something for yourself instead of doing it because it is the right thing to do for the other person.

    Dang it. Now I can't even do things in secret any more! I will always wonder if I am doing to just to impress God. Thanks Cow Poke

  4. Amen ke7ejx, Cerebrum123, Christianbookworm amen'd this post.
  5. #23
    High Priestess of the Pot Stirrers ke7ejx's Avatar
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    The problem is that the not letting your left hand know what the right is doing part of the verse is often used as a cudgel to bludgeon people with. This past Christmas in Yreka, California an elderly gentleman handed out over 600.00 in 20 dollar bills to children at his local Wal-Mart. He posted about it on his Facebook and made it public to reassure parents of the recipients that it was a harmless gesture to bring Christmas cheer to the children. His local news picked it up and a bunch of posters just slaughtered him accusing him of "tooting" his own horn and some of the posters brought up that very passage.

    http://kval.com/news/local/man-hands...sh-on-facebook

    On a personal note, having been on the receiving end of CP's generosity, I've never felt like he's done it for public acclaim. After my brother ripped apart the Bible I was using for college, he purchased me a new Bible. I won't say how much it cost but I will say that it was a very expensive Bible used primarily by pastors or clergy members. It wasn't done in secret and I publically thanked him for it. I don't think he was being a Pharisee and I'm pretty sure Jesus smiled when he helped me like that. We need to be careful to not use scripture as an excuse to pummel people.

    Still use that Bible every day, Creacher.
    I am Punkinhead.

    "I have missed you, Oh Grand High Priestess of the Order of the Stirring Pot"

    ~ Cow Poke aka CP aka Creacher aka ke7ejx's apprentice....

  6. #24
    tWebber Thoughtful Monk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingsGambit View Post
    The obvious passage that comes to mind here is Matthew 6:1-4:

    Be careful not to perform your righteous acts before men to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
    So when you give to the needy, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be praised by men. Truly I tell you, they already have their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

    However, I just thought of another passage that might suggest a less strict interpretation: 2 Corinthians 9:5. Paul talks about a gift that was "promised" by the Corinthian church to the poor believers in Macedonia. Clearly there had to be some discussion/coordination of how that gift was put together, especially since Paul knew it was coming ahead of time. In a church context that sort of makes sense. A church needs pledges from people so they know how much to budget for. The heart reason for why people pledge/give is still important there. So I don't know how that all is going to fit in with what Jesus said about charitable giving.

    Maybe a good question to ask would be "would I still do this if nobody ever found out about it", and if there's any hesitation at all there, there's a heart problem.
    Sounds about right to me.

    At this point in my life, I just try to give because its the right thing to do and sweat over appearances, reward or motivation. In me that just produces analysis paralysis.
    "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

    My time to be on TWeb is unpredictable. It may take a few days for me to see your post and respond.

  7. #25
    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    That's actually a good point. If you are doing it just to get a reward in heaven, isn't that just as selfish a motivation as doing it for the praise of men? You are only doing it to get something for yourself instead of doing it because it is the right thing to do for the other person.

    Dang it. Now I can't even do things in secret any more! I will always wonder if I am doing to just to impress God. Thanks Cow Poke
    I was always taught "do the right thing and accept the consequences - good or bad".

    1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

  8. #26
    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ke7ejx View Post
    The problem is that the not letting your left hand know what the right is doing part of the verse is often used as a cudgel to bludgeon people with. This past Christmas in Yreka, California an elderly gentleman handed out over 600.00 in 20 dollar bills to children at his local Wal-Mart. He posted about it on his Facebook and made it public to reassure parents of the recipients that it was a harmless gesture to bring Christmas cheer to the children. His local news picked it up and a bunch of posters just slaughtered him accusing him of "tooting" his own horn and some of the posters brought up that very passage.

    http://kval.com/news/local/man-hands...sh-on-facebook

    On a personal note, having been on the receiving end of CP's generosity, I've never felt like he's done it for public acclaim. After my brother ripped apart the Bible I was using for college, he purchased me a new Bible. I won't say how much it cost but I will say that it was a very expensive Bible used primarily by pastors or clergy members. It wasn't done in secret and I publically thanked him for it. I don't think he was being a Pharisee and I'm pretty sure Jesus smiled when he helped me like that. We need to be careful to not use scripture as an excuse to pummel people.

    Still use that Bible every day, Creacher.

    1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

  9. Amen ke7ejx amen'd this post.
  10. #27
    tWebber Christianbookworm's Avatar
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    Do good because you want to help others, not because you might get rewarded, right? But it's fun to give in secret! It's like being a superhero. A really lame one, but still!
    If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

  11. #28
    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christianbookworm View Post
    Do good because you want to help others, not because you might get rewarded, right? But it's fun to give in secret! It's like being a superhero. A really lame one, but still!
    Years ago, when I was a youth minister, we played a game we called "knock knock zoom zoom". (not the version I played as a rebellious teen, though)

    When we found out that somebody was in need - like groceries, we would go buy several boxes of groceries, quietly sneak up to the porch at night, place the boxes of groceries on the porch, then ring the doorbell or knock on the door, and run like crazy to hide - never letting the person know where the groceries came from. It was a lot of fun, and the kids used their own money to do this.

    1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

  12. Amen Zymologist, ke7ejx, Christianbookworm amen'd this post.
  13. #29
    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cow Poke View Post
    Years ago, when I was a youth minister, we played a game we called "knock knock zoom zoom". (not the version I played as a rebellious teen, though)

    When we found out that somebody was in need - like groceries, we would go buy several boxes of groceries, quietly sneak up to the porch at night, place the boxes of groceries on the porch, then ring the doorbell or knock on the door, and run like crazy to hide - never letting the person know where the groceries came from. It was a lot of fun, and the kids used their own money to do this.
    Little Old Lady and the Atheist

    There was a little old lady who would come out every morning on the steps of her front porch, raise her arms to the sky and shout, "Praise the Lord!"

    Well, one day an atheist moved into the house next door. Over time, he became irritated at the little old lady. So every morning he would step out onto his front porch and yell after her, "There is no God!"

    Time passes with the two of them carrying on this way every day. Then one morning in the middle of winter, the little old lady stepped onto her front porch and shouted, "Praise the Lord! Lord, I have no food and I am hungry. Please provide for me, oh Lord!"

    The next morning she stepped onto her porch and there were two huge bags of groceries sitting there. "Praise the Lord!" she cried out. "He has provided groceries for me!" The atheist jumped out of the hedges and shouted, "There is no Lord. I bought those groceries!" The little old lady threw her arms into the air and shouted, "Praise the Lord! He has provided me with groceries and He made the devil pay for them!"

  14. #30
    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    Little Old Lady and the Atheist

    There was a little old lady who would come out every morning on the steps of her front porch, raise her arms to the sky and shout, "Praise the Lord!"

    Well, one day an atheist moved into the house next door. Over time, he became irritated at the little old lady. So every morning he would step out onto his front porch and yell after her, "There is no God!"

    Time passes with the two of them carrying on this way every day. Then one morning in the middle of winter, the little old lady stepped onto her front porch and shouted, "Praise the Lord! Lord, I have no food and I am hungry. Please provide for me, oh Lord!"

    The next morning she stepped onto her porch and there were two huge bags of groceries sitting there. "Praise the Lord!" she cried out. "He has provided groceries for me!" The atheist jumped out of the hedges and shouted, "There is no Lord. I bought those groceries!" The little old lady threw her arms into the air and shouted, "Praise the Lord! He has provided me with groceries and He made the devil pay for them!"
    Yup -- I think that might have been the story that inspired us.

    1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

  15. Amen ke7ejx, Christianbookworm amen'd this post.

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