“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." Matthew 6:4
My wife and I love sneaky generosity. We love to find ways to be generous without being known. Sometimes, we get a change to hear or see the person that received the blessing. More often than not, their response is that they really needed it. There is such a joy for us when we can be used by God to bless them without getting credit for doing it.
In Matthew 6, Jesus is explaining the danger and the consequences of doing your giving in front of people. “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 you Father in heaven.” We need to be careful not to be generous solely to be seen as a generous person. If our heart isn’t in the right place when we’re generous it could easily be about us. I often wonder if the reward of giving is the joy of being a part of what God is doing behind the scenes.
The great thing about sneaky generosity is it doesn’t matter the size, amount, or time that is spent on the act. Words of encouragement on a post-it note at work, a $5 gift card to Starbucks, or a box of Krispy Kream doughnuts for the office could go a long way.
As the student pastor I had a great picture of this over the summer. I had a student come to me and explain that they wanted to tithe on their graduation money. They expressed that they wanted this to specifically go as a summer camp scholarship and to remain anonymous so another students could attend camp. At the time I had a student in mind that needed the financial help to get to camp. This student received their scholarship and was able to attend camp. That week the student who was able to attend camp because of another students tithe accepted Christ and has been invited into a discipling relationship. These two students don’t know each other but because of a students generosity they changed the course of another students life.
So as you go through your week be on the look out for your chance to be sneaky generous.