“Do Not Publicly Demonstrate Your Acts Of Righteousness!”(Mt.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 honoured 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.”
Subsistent farmers in my village know that it it difficult for all beds or ridges in a piece of farmland to be of the same length.
They have used this in proverb as a metaphor to explain the inevitable hierarchical structuring of society. “The short bed in the farm is neither because the farmer was lazy nor that soil was finished.”
Some things are just bound to be the way they are.
In her novel, “The Beggars’ Strike,” the Senegalese born author, Aminata Sow Fall tells the story of a fictional strike in a West African society. Some state bureaucrats see beggars in the city as nuisances disturbing tourism. They decide to rid the city of beggars. They open a place away from the city and relocate all the beggars there. The beggars rally themselves and decide to refuse any gift from these people. It is a sweet humourous satire worth reading.
The Lord Jesus Christ said the poor will always be with us.
The fortunate ones have a responsibility towards the lessfortu ate ones. God knows why some things are the way they are.
A poor person today can become rich tomorrow, meanwhile a rich person today can become poor tomorrow.
The focus of our text is however on the needy and not the poor; but needy people are generally poor.
In my Church, the PCC” there is the “Poor and Needy” collection box in every congregation. However, some poor and needy persons refuse assistance from this collection because the phrase “poor and needy” reduces their dignity as persons. We have progressed to names like “Compassionate Fund” or “Diakonia” which do not stigmatize.
The Lord Jesus asks us to “be careful” not to do our ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them.”
There are three acts of righteousness which he mentions that do not have to be done for public praise. They are: giving to the needy, prayer and fasting, in that order.
Our text focuses on giving to the needy.
The Lord says, “So when you give to the needy…” He does not say, “if you give…” “If” is conditional. “When you give…” supposes that you have to give, and each time you do so, do not make it a public show.
Thank you all for you have practiced since Sunday what the text recommends. None of you followers of MM know what the other person has given to support Ba Nelson G.
On record about 110 people have responded to the SOS for Ba Nelson G. Between yesterday and today we raised an additional 165,000 francs CFA.
May our Father who sees what is done in secret reward you abundantly.
Good news for Ba Nelson: I have been contacted by a family member. They saw the video I made and took it to their family forum. There, they have decided to make contributions to rehabilitate the house. From today we shall collaborate with them to pull down the house and put up a new and befiting structure for Ba Nelson G. God bless you all good people. We have done as the Lord expects us to.
Prayer: Holy Spirit help me to cultivate a right attitude in giving to the needy. Amen!
Have a blessed day! Peace be with you!
Prayer point: Pray that the fortunate ones should consider the needy ones as their special responsibility.
Rev Babila Fochang.