Jesus says-- Beware of practicing your righteousness before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven. Matthew 6:1
Lent 1-- Ash Wednesday
For every text there is a context. The context here is that Jesus is speaking about alms, about money. He is saying that when you give to the poor, to Alpha Church, or to those who are in need then do your giving discreetly. We have an opportunity for you to give to the Church on the top of our web page, giving through PayPal, and you will get a thank you from us but other's in the Church will not know the amount you have given. This is according to Jesus' instruction.
In Jesus day the Pharisees would go into the poor districts of the city and blow a trumpet to gather the poor. There would be a great show of giving by the religious priests so that other's would know what was given and to whom. This kind of showmanship of giving is what Jesus is speaking against. The trumpet need not be blown nor the bells be ringing in the steeple of the Church when giving money of any amount is done.
Not long ago I was asked by someone to give a large check to a struggling Church in town. The person could not deliver it themselves. In the private office, upon receiving it the Pastor didn't look at it, he simply laid it on his desk and sat down silently in a chair. I asked him to look at the check amount and said, "The giver was very generous!" He looked at the check and asked, "What do they want me to do for them." "Do? Why thank them for their generosity and support of your Church," was my response. The Pastor said he was thinking that this person was supposed to get extraordinary attention for the large donation.
We are privately thanked for our giving and yet even if we are not thanked we have given because we tithe, giving our ten percent, or we are giving extra as in second mile giving. Our money is God's and we give in obedience. Jesus says that He knows what you give and your reward is from God. When you give it is a private event and without services rendered because of your giving. We give because our hearts are grateful to God for His Faithful care in our lives. We give because Jesus gave His Life for us. We give with quiet joy in our hearts because we are assisting God in helping others.