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Foundations For Our Future #81

Foundations for Our Future (81)

by: The Rev. Dr. Jon Shuler

Left Hand/Right Hand

I am often amused at how some people read the words of Jesus and find them confusing, especially those who are inclined to be very literal. Of course it happens to us all sometimes. I remember as a child wondering why Jesus sat on God’s right hand? Didn’t it hurt him? And another time, when a little older, I wondered how Jesus could see all the kingdoms of the world from the top of a small mountain?

When our Lord tells his disciples that they are to give for those in need with one hand not knowing what the other is doing, what does he really mean? (Matthew 6:3)

I have known people who think that Jesus means they should never tell anyone what they do with their money, especially never tell the church. Others who literally give in anonymous envelopes. Still others who think this allows us to practice “public giving” but that we must also practice “private giving.” Perhaps there is some truth in all three ideas?

The figurative speech of the Lord Jesus here seems to mean, as I see it, that there is a base motive for giving and a godly one. That we who have more than we need are expected, in love, to share with those who have less. The spirit of the Pharisee, or the hypocrite, is to be praised by men. The spirit of the follower of the Lord is the desire to do God’s will, and be praised by him. Left hand is one. Right hand is the other.