GIVING & CAMERAS? “LET NOT THY LEFT HAND KNOW WHAT THY RIGHT HAND DOETH”

Giving


Permit me to give my little contribution to this subject matter.
First, it all comes down to motive – your intention; why are you displaying before the camera? What matters most to God, as we can glean from scriptures, is the state of the heart (1 Sam. 2:3 & 16:7).
However, we cannot by any means deny the significant role of technology in our dispensation, with the “Camera”, translating to the social media, taking a greater lead; consider the rate at which information, especially God’s Word in the brackets of what we call “church services” in pictures, audio and videos, are disseminated through the internet at almost light speed. This is to tell you that even in the nearest future, there’ll be almost zero control to anything done that concerns the public.


Remember that part of scripture that tells us that when Christ the King shall appear at the Mount of Olives in Israel, “all eyes” shall see him? Do you think that that would be magical or mystical? No. Consider how a LIVE event can be simultaneously viewed by millions globally.


Now, back to the main subject matter.
The scripture used frequently to counter these acts of publicizing charity deeds is Matt. 6:3 – “let not your left hand know what thy right hand doeth.”
But we fail to study the preceding verses. In studying scriptures, there are three main approaches one must engage for concrete understanding:

Foretext (or, Pretext) analysis

Context analysis

Post text analysis


We must also pay attention to the following so as to abrogate heretical and disjointed teachings & doctrines:

To whom was the scripture written exactly?

Why was the scripture written exactly?

When was the scripture written exactly?


Jesus, in teaching the people sound doctrines (Matt. 7:28-29), condemned emphatically the motives and manner, not the acts, of hypocrites in that Matt. 6:1-4.


Consider these 3 striking count charges:

They gave to be “seen” of men (Matt. 6:1); the Greek word for “seen” here is “theaomai” meaning “to look closely at”.
So, you see that they were giving to make themselves the epicentre of charity, thereby, ridding God of the attention of the people. This is one of the reasons why they strongly opposed the teachings of Christ as he was gaining more popularity than they – to them, it was a battle for attention.

They always sounded a trumpet before, during and after their giving exercise. (Matt. 6:2).
The Greek word for “sound a trumpet” here is “Salpizo” meaning “a blast”. And this is the same word used in 1 Cor. 15:52 when the “trumpet shall sound” signalling the Rapture.
Again, it was a battle for attention. That is why those who never give until they make a blast, never last!

Their purpose and intention for giving were glaring – “that they may have glory of men.” (Matt. 6:2)
The Greek word for “glory” here is “doxazo”, implying to be esteemed as glorious.


Their ego and desire for reputation before men were what catalyzed their giving.
I once said that until our passion for Divine expectation zeros our reputation, then we are still playing.
Phil. 2:7 tells us that Jesus, in fulfilment of his Divine mandate, made himself of zero reputation.
Now, were there people that gave, that did Charity works in the Bible and it was noised abroad and yet they still got their rewards? Plenty:

Elisha commanded that an entire army be fed and cross-cities were aware (2Kings 6:22-23)

Nehemiah, on a daily basis fed over 150 people, and it was noised in the land (Neh. 5:17-18)

The early church under the leadership of the Apostles catered daily for the needs of the people, so much so that it almost triggered pandemonium (Acts 6:1)

Jesus, for the second time, fed over 4000 people by multiplying 7 loaves and a few little fishes, and the whole countrymen were aware (Matt. 15:33-36)


Hope you’re aware that Jesus will sometimes even heal people and tell them to go and publicize it? Read Mark 5:19 (Here, he revealed the purpose for such publicity – to show that God is gracious, compassionate and ever-loving).
So, the summary of it is “Lord, examine and prove me; try my reins and my heart; search me and know my heart; try me and know my thoughts.” Psalms 26:2 & 139:23.
The Lord continually break the bread that our eyes might be opened to spiritual realities.
Grace!Apostle Nebai C. Ogbonna

Source: Apostle Nebai C. Ogbonna

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