“But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”  Matthew 23:11-12

Overview

During the time of Jesus, the religious leaders thought that gaining God’s favor meant praying loud so everyone could hear, giving money to others in public for everyone to see, and avoiding sinners.  Jesus made it clear that these practices were not the way to gain God’s favor.  Jesus said your communication with God should be private and the content kept between you and God. Following the lesson to keep your conversation with God private did not mean that you never prayed in public; it said your communication with God is closed and not used to impress other people.

My Experience

I did not follow this Christian Lesson until I was forty years old.  I wish I had made an effort much sooner.  I discovered that following this Christian Lesson helped me in many ways.  There were occasions when I helped friends financially.  Before following this Christian Lesson, I would make my contribution known to others.  I wanted people to know I was generous.  The challenge is that the person I helped feels obligated to respond in some way, especially if many other people know about the contribution.  If the purpose of my gift is truly to serve the person in need, I have no reason to inform anyone else about the donation.    When possible, I help people anonymously.  If the person I help does not know I am the source of the gift, they will not feel obligated to me, and the charity will genuinely be my contribution to help someone in need.  Not a way of gaining favor from other people.

Summary

The Christian Lesson to serve others means to contribute to people in need with the only motive being to help that person, not to gain credit for helping people.  Our objective for providing to needy people should be to please God, not earn credit from other people.  You will receive all the support you need without pursuing acknowledgment from other people. 

Published by Jim Brandt

Jim Brandt was an all-conference college football player and served as a Marine Corps pilot during the Vietnam War. He also started a software company and served as an executive for the fifth-largest bank in the United States. Brandt won the Democratic party nomination for Congress twice. He is married and has three children.

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