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.
I remember the days of doing things without a phone camera in my hand. We didn’t have the option back in 2000 – didn’t have the option to be tempted to always take a picture of every moment. I used to roam around free without that distraction. I used to roam around privately, secretly. I miss those days.
I mean, yes, I still do have lots of private and secret times. But honestly, lots of times I still have my phone in hand with camera ready in order to take a picture “for later” – in order to post, share, or use later. While there’s nothing wrong with capturing beautiful, joyful, and everyday moments and using the pictures, there is a time to do things in secret.
Christ said when we want to give to the needy, we ought to do it in secret. We don’t do it with cameras on and with a fanfare announcing our good deeds. We give to the needy quietly, before God, without anyone else’s knowledge, even anonymously if possible, so that God gets the glory, and so that God rewards us. And God’s reward is so much better than any recognition that human beings can give us.
When we really give like this, in secret, God’s reward might be a physical reward and in our lifetime, or it might be a spiritual reward… maybe the sense of intimacy with God and having a secret with God. (There’s nothing quite like having a secret with God.) Or it might be something we don’t experience in this body right now. Whatever it is though, it is worth it, and again, so much better than any reward a human could give.
Father, renew in me the practice and joy of doing and giving in secret. Amen.