The Wrong Way to Give

Dick Nieusma, Jr.

READ : Matthew 6:1-4

Mrs. Kim came to our gate with her baby on her back, begging for a little money to put up her fall “kimchi” (pickled cabbage), a mainstay of the Korean diet. Her husband had lost his job. It would be so hard for them to face the winter without kimchi, so I decided to help them out. As I handed her the Korean equivalent of $25, I expected a big bow and a nice “thank you.” So, I was shocked by her response: “Couldn’t you give me just $5 more?” Well, I didn’t give her any more, and as she left I fumed at her ungratefulness.

However, upon further reflection I discovered a very important principle in helping people that is found in today’s reading: “Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them.” If you take Jesus’ words to heart, you will never be disappointed by others’ reactions. You won’t ever be surprised by a person’s lack of gratitude or be overly impressed with yourself for what you have done.

I would like to challenge you to do good to people in need with that same attitude. It’s the principle that Jesus is trying to teach us.


Thank you, Lord, for showing your power in so many hopeless situations. Show it to me today. Amen.