Jesus was wrong.
“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 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. Mathew 6:1-4
If Jesus literally meant that we should never ever tell anyone about the good that we do He was wrong. Now I don’t think that’s what Jesus meant and therefore I do not think that Jesus was wrong. I think more the common take away from what Jesus said is wrong.
I think that Jesus was addressing a group of Pharisees that only did good things to get praise from men. That’s bad.
I do not think that Jesus was telling us to never under any circumstances tell anyone else that we did something good.
If you are only giving to post it on Facebook then Jesus’ words apply. If you are giving to make a difference then here are some reasons you should share it with others.
- It’s inspiring. By showing how you are making a difference it inspires others to want to do the same thing. When people see other regular, average Americans giving back it inspires them. It forces them to ask “why aren’t I doing more. If they can do it I can too.”
- It’s challenging. Right now my small group is reading 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker. It’s amazing. And challenging. Very challenging. It is filled with stories about an intentional fast based around 7 things. For example she only eats 7 foods one month, gives away 7 possessions a day for one month, only wears 7 items of clothing for one month, and potentially the most challenging she only spends her money at 7 places. This book is filled with inspiration and her story is convicting. I write all that to say I wouldn’t be challenged if she kept quiet. Now if she wrote this book for millions to see how awesome she is then shame on her. But if she wrote it to challenge Christians then it’s awesome! I think it’s the later.
- It spreads information. Most Christians want to make a difference. Most Christians are also incredibly lazy and wait for the church to invite them to make said difference. I know that’s not you. You are the exception. But to everyone else this applies. When you get involved in a cause it helps spread information. It helps others know about what needs are out there. Sometimes simply knowing what can be done is enough to help people do something. My wife posted on Facebook that she was collecting specific items to provide lunch for 90 kids who only get lunch because they go to a public school. These kids weren’t going to get food during spring break. Monica heard about this and did something. She needed help so she posted it on Facebook. She was able to collect more than enough food which was a HUGE help to these kids. Without her post a lot of people would not have know about this. I feel the same way about a great organization called Charity Water. Years ago I saw a friend post that instead of gifts she would like people to donate to build a well to provide clean water to an impoverished village. That’s awesome! I wouldn’t have become educated if she kept it to herself.
- It’s Biblical. Sure there may not be a verse that says, “Share your good deeds on Facebook,” but that doesn’t mean it’s not a Biblical idea. We know about some amazing good deeds from major players in the Bible. A lot of them we would not know about if they didn’t tell the story. Peter and John were the only ones there when they healed a paralytic beggar. I think it’s safe to say they told someone what happened. That someone ended up telling Luke who wrote it down for us to have in the book of Acts.
- It’s encouraging. There is way too much negative press out there. It’s awful. Bad news everywhere. No one watched Extreme Makeover Home Edition and thought, “I wish they wouldn’t have helped those people out.” No! We watched and we cried. It was so encouraging how they would make a practical difference. Reading how others make a difference for Jesus is encouraging. And refreshing.
Again if you are doing your good deeds to impress people then please don’t share it. If it’s more about looking good on Facebook then shut yo mouth and follow Jesus’ examples in the verse above. But if it’s really not about giving yourself attention but about inspiring others then I think you are okay to share.
Now there are still a few things that I keep close to me. I don’t share them with anyone. I want to be careful that I am not sharing everything to make myself look good. But if I think it will help someone else to make a difference then I’m all for sharing it.
What are your thoughts about this?