I like big BUTS and I cannot lie

May 14, 2014

Matthew 6:2 (in context)

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.


1. BUT— I like big “Buts” and I cannot lie. Why? Because “BUTS” bring clarity by establishing contrast. This is how change agents work. They create clear contrasts. Remember this one:  You have heard it said, BUT I say. They give that way, BUT you do it this way. They pray that way, but you do it this way. They fast that way, BUT you do it this way. Jesus loves the big BUTs.

2. When you give– Note the Jedi mind trick here. Jesus doesn’t work with “If’s and then’s. For him it’s all about How’s and When’s. (Lecrae would be proud.) Jesus doesn’t teach down. He teaches up. If you are going to follow Jesus, it’s  not about rules for life, but a Rule of Life. When you give– When you pray– When you fast–TRANSLATION– You will give. You will pray. You will fast. End of sentence. Period.

3. to the needy– I love the way J.W. takes this little phrase straight to Matthew 25:

The feeding the hungry, the clothing the naked, the entertaining or assisting the stranger, the visiting those that are sick or in prison, the comforting the afflicted, the instructing the ignorant, the reproving the wicked, the exhorting and encouraging the well-doer; and if there be any other work of mercy, it is equally included in this direction.

4. Do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing– In other words, your level of secrecy must be so profound that you actually forget it about it yourself. Can you keep a secret from yourself? Try it.

5. so that your giving may be in secret– Secret goodness is the secret to human greatness. There is nothing more inspiring and winsome than human greatness hidden from itself. Practice secret goodness. It’s the essence of humility, which is the ground of holiness.

6. Then, your Father who sees what is done in secret, will reward you– We will get to that later.

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J.D. Walt writes daily for Seedbed’s Daily Text. He serves as Seedbed’s Sower in Chief. Follow him @jdwalt on Twitter or email him at jd.walt@seedbed.com.

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