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 men. I tell you the truth, 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. (Matthew 6:2–4, NIV 1984).
My Musings – The first thing to notice is that it is “when” not “if.” Giving to those in need, whether monetary or otherwise, is expected not conditional.
The second thing to notice is “do not announce it.” The United States’ Internal Revenue Service defines a gift as motivated by a detached (free from self-interest) and disinterested (not influenced by considerations of personal advantage) generosity that is made out of affection, respect, admiration, charity or like impulses. Not because of any moral or legal duty, but rather [solely] in response to the individual’s needs. I think the Scriptures would refer to this as “what [one] has decided in [their] heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, [or to be honored by men] for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7, NIV 1984).
Finally, “do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.” This was a symbolic saying that captured the extreme measures that should be taken to avoid public acclaim for generosity. (Faithlife Study Bible, Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press).
My Advice – We respond to the need because we can, not because we must (or should), and not for acclaim.