Posted by: howvoicebegan | 07/07/2010

The Left is Blind to the Right

To say that Jesus was never lacking in rich character is an understatement. We could (and should) spend a lifetime reading the Gospels and continue to glean new lessons for living. In just a few dozen stories over a few years, we learn vast amounts of the character of God, packed full of humbling advice on striving for righteousness.

I can’t help but be reminded that there are many more stories of Jesus and many more teachings that are not revealed in the Bible, as John reports at the end of his book. Jesus initially told those he encountered to not tell anyone of the things he had done; obviously, many of these people did not obey, but think of how many more likely did, and thus we do not have their stories written.

But, I wonder if it was just another way that Jesus was putting into practice his own preaching. Jesus said, “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.” (Matthew 6:3, NIV) He gave so much, and so much of it is now hidden in the secret past, not to be revealed to us, just as was planned.

All of this is to say that I struggle with finding that balance that Jesus did of giving in secret and those stories he shared. Truthfully, it bothers me when people ask what I am doing in South Africa, how I am serving, and worse yet when people praise Leslie for her works rather than Christ who works in her. If my left and right hand are to be blind to each other, how much more should others be blind to what I do! I do not want to be a Pharisee who parades and flaunts; I would prefer to have those stories that are recorded in no book but the Book of Life.
How does one balance an honest response to people’s questions and that of reserving my actions for God alone? I dislike people asking what I do because it forces me to recognize it in front of men. I do not want to hear how I’m “such a good person” because I am still a sinner like you, and God doesn’t reward based on an air miles system.

At this point, I really am reaching out for biblical opinions on how to not be aloof in conversation while also maintaining my own blindness to my works of faith. Let’s interact– leave a comment. 🙂



  1. Of course there is a difference in boasting for yourself and telling others how God is using you to make a difference for others. If you try to hide or dismiss what you are doing then how can you inform others of the needs of this ministry.
    How do you do it humbly? When someone says “Wow” or “you are amazing” you simply say Not really, you are just doing what God has laid before you. It is He that is amazing by allowing you to do this.

  2. Psalm 107:2 says “let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy.” When people say something, my policy is to try to be a mirror that reflects God by deflecting the praise to Him…”I’m thankful that God is working in….” Sometimes even that feels like false humility, and I say, “I’m always excited when I see God working.” I think you have the right heart about it, and that is what is important. Jesus also said, “Let your light shine so that people will see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Sometimes we have to remind them that the praise belongs to God. Praying for you.

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