Give Like No One is Looking
“But when you do your giving, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,” Matt. 6:3
This time of year, giving gifts is at the front of many people’s minds. Whether we’re on the hunt for just the right gift for someone we love, find ourselves in the bustle of last minute shopping for someone we almost forgot to get a gift for or are looking over opportunities to give a benevolent donation; there are lots of opportunities to give, reasons to give and ways to give. But sometimes it’s good to just give for giving’s sake, not simply because there is a need or because we might be recognized for it.
Giving to meet a need expresses the very nature of God. Giving when others know, and you’re recognized for it, can also be good – it can drive culture and help others desire to do the same. But, if we give when no one is looking and in a way that doesn’t allow the recipient to know where it came from, we subtly communicate that their needs, wants and happiness are truly important to someone else. We communicate that someone is looking out for them, that they’re part of a broader community that cares, that they’re in a community that gives.
Jesus taught us to give without even letting our left hand know what our right hand is doing because giving – beyond its purpose and pomp – is necessary for a healthy soul. When we give like no one is looking: we give for the recipient’s sake and not for our own; we start to convince ourselves that being a giver is more important than what we give; we believe that becoming a giver is more valuable than any notoriety, thank you or reciprocation we may receive as a result.
This week, try to find an opportunity to give something that you won’t be recognized for or in a way where you won’t see the recipient’s reaction.
Get creative with this one, but here are some idea starters:
- Find an anonymous way to bless a co-worker.
- Give anonymously to a stranger. Try leaving some cash after your next coffee purchase or bus fare and let the barista/driver know it’s to pay for a future customer of their choosing.
- Give anonymously to a friend or family member. Try dropping off a gift and in a way that the recipient won’t know who gave it.
- Give an act of service or kindness to a neighbor. Maybe shovel the snow off a neighbor’s driveway without their notice or brush the snow off a co-worker’s windshield before they leave work.
- You can also give an anonymous donation to one of the campaigns on our community’s Give page.