We want credit for the good things we do. It's reasonable. It's fiscally responsible, especially if it's tax deductible. We want out pat on the back.
Jesus sees alms giving differently. "Be especially careful when you are trying to be good so that you don't make a performance out of it. It might be good theater, but the God who made you won't be applauding. When you do something for someone else, don't call attention to yourself. ...when you help someone out, don't think about how it looks. Just do it--quietly and unobtrusively" (Matthew 6:1-4, Message).
If you promise to help someone, don't talk about it, don't wait for an invitation, do it. Mow their lawn, take a meal, deposit money in their account. Do it. Let God be your witness.
That's exactly the way God works in your life. He never calls attention to Himself. He rescues you from sin, from judgment, from danger. And He does it all the time. But He does it quietly, behind the scenes.
We're the actors. We play out our good deeds as if on a stage. We want our name on the plaque or on the donor list. We're compassionate and generous as long as we can play the crowd. We do something good only to pause for our applause.
Getting credit for doing good things is the way of our world, but it's not the way of God's world. Self-appreciation and applause ranks high on our list but it doesn't make God's list. Why? Because God's kingdom is not about us; it's about Him.
God-centered people help those in need without fanfare or elaboration. They never make generosity a big deal. God-centered people give without excepting or negotiating praise, appreciation, or an ovation. The quality of your generosity reflects the quality of your life.