So, what is the right hand doing?

The great fuss about who is giving what aid, and how quickly, to the tsunami victims should not surprise any Christian. It is just another sign of the fallen nature of men that such an issue should be raised at all. No, not the giving. This is the essence of being Christian. The Christian’s problem should not at all be with requests for aid, and we should all give what we can. Rather, our problem should be with the criticism of anyone or any nation on how much, and how quickly, they give.

The subject of donations for those in need was best answered by Jesus, in Matthew Chapter 6:

1 Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

2 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 men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.

3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,

4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

The best approach to giving remains the quiet way. If not enough is given, then chiding can only bring resentment and is almost certain to reduce future donations. I don’t know what is worse — the hectoring and complaining about rich nations not giving enough, or the rich nations, especially the most generous one, the United States, going along with the complaints.

My guess is that those who complain the loudest about someone else’s (perceived) lack of charity might wish to examine their own before saying one word.

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