By Terry Stead

I don’t know about you, but I love going to Charity performances etc and feel really good about giving my money to a worthy cause.  It makes me feel warm inside and generally I have a great time with my friends as well.  This week I had cause to read the passage from Matthew about giving and it made me stop and question my way of giving.

I asked myself if I would have given that money if I didn’t get something out of it? Would I have been willing to give a homeless person I met in the street a bed and shelter without the fear that they would take my possessions or dirty my clean house?  I don’t think so.  It is far easier to give to an organization, using the excuse that they are able to deal with the situation much better than I can.

Another question that needs my answer is whether I would give my money to the church if I wasn’t in the planned giving program?  I know I give my time and my talents freely, but would I give my money anonymously during the week and not just on a Sunday when it is time for the offering?

I found these tough questions to answer but think we need to ask them every now and again, keeping in mind these verses and the way we give of our time and our money.

Matthew 6:1-4: Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ 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 announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 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. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

Prayer: God of Wisdom and Compassion, thank you that you sent your Son to teach us your ways so that we can make your Kingdom here on Earth a better place and also bring us closer to you.  Help us to see all our giving as an act from you and not from ourselves.  Amen

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