I was reading through the Bible looking for something to talk about,
I read about Manasseh, and his son, and his son's son named Josiah.
I thought, maybe I should talk about this... then I decided, no, not right now.
I kept reading in different places, then I read Mathew 6, and said yes.
"Take heed that ye do not your alms before men,
to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.
Therefore when thou doest thine alms,
Do not sound a trumpet before thee,
as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets,
that they may have glory of men.
Verily I say unto you,
They have their reward." -Matthew 6:1-2
So, what exactly does this mean?
Well, the first thing we should ask ourselves is, are there any words we may not know or recognize.
The first word I see that some may not know the meaning of, is, alms. The second word, is hypocrite.
alms: donation, dole, handout, relief, welfare, and charity.
hypocrite: pharisee, two-faced, and insincere.
Based on these synonyms we can gather that to give alms, could be restated as, to give money to someone who needs it, such as the poor.
And hypocrite means, someone who says one thing and does another.
So, now we can paraphrase this verse to understand it better.
to paraphrase, this verse says:
be careful that you do not give people money when crowds are watching, if you do, you will have no reward from God.
so, when you do give to others, don't brag about it like the two-faced people do at church and in public, so people think well of them, they have their reward.
That wasn't much easier to understand in my opinion,
either way, I will try to explain it better.
I think to understand this, we need to go back in time to when this was happening.
During this point in time there was a group of people called the pharisees. They were a group of people that tried to do everything right, so that other people would praise them for how good they were.
The problem was that these people were not actually good, they only pretended to be good in front of other people.
The main reason they did this was because they wanted the praise of other people.
They didn't really care about pleasing God, they cared about pleasing men.
So, one of the things that the pharisees would do was, they would go to a public place and they would give money to people that may have been poor or needy.
This was not a bad thing to do, but when they did it, they made sure that everyone knew that they did it. This was one thing that they did to get other peoples praise.
Jesus is saying here that the pharisees reward for doing this was the praise that they received.
"But when thou doest thine alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:
That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret Himself shall reward thee openly." -Matthew 6:3-4
These two verses say how we should give to others, it says not to let your left hand know what your right hand does.
Jesus is saying that we should keep it secret, we should not go bragging about it to others.
It says that thy Father, being God, that sees when you give in secret, will reward you out in the open.
It goes on to say the same thing about prayer.
"And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are:
for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets,
that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door,
pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly." -Matthew 6:5-6
Again, we see here that the pharisees would pray in the most obvious and public places, so that they would receive glory for it.
We also see again that we should not do that, it says that we should enter into our closet and shut the door.
I do not believe that Jesus is saying that we are supposed to enter into our closets every time we pray. I believe he is using that as an example, he is saying that we should not make it known to everybody else.
We are supposed to pray in secret, and God, which sees what we do in secret, will reward us openly.
We are to give in secret, and we are to pray in secret.
When God looks down at you, will He say, You have your reward?