Left Hand, Right Hand

Monday, Jan. 26

“Don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.” This proverb is often used in connection would church donations—tithes and offerings. The idea is that we should not advertise our giving. It should be in secret. It should be between God and me alone. Taken literally, if my left hand doesn’t know what my right hand is doing, I would give twice as much as I would otherwise. The left hand would think it’s totally responsible and the right hand would do the same. I can see some televangelist taking advantage of this. So you were going to give $20 dollars; now you give $40. OK, a little far fetched, although many televangelists use appeals that are just as ludicrous. The idea of keeping our giving secret is good and bad. It’s good because we are encouraged not to give in order to be commended for our giving. But it’s bad if we use secrecy to give so little that we would be ashamed to have people know about it. If we were to apply this to all other types of conduct, we could get by with a lot of sin and no one would be the wiser. Actually, a lot of people do this, and to our shame, a lot of Christians perform this way. God called us to be different than the world, not to emulate it.

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