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When we give alms or offerings, should we know how much we are giving, for Jesus said: “when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth”? (Matthew 6:3)

Let us look at the whole context to get the true picture of what Christ was saying. Jesus said:

“Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.” (Matthew 6:1-4)

Christ was instructing His disciples on the right way of giving alms. Giving in full view of the public, to be noticed by them, is a display of one’s “righteousness,” and that will create pride within. But when no one is watching, except God in Heaven, it will develop a benevolent character of giving. Our motives are what God weighs. It is not really about how much one gives, but about how one gives! That does not mean that we give less. He who loves his neighbor as himself will give liberally.

Christ was not teaching that the giver should not know how much he gives when he said:

“But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth.” (Matthew 6:3)

One of the greatest gifts that God gave man is the freedom of choice — to willingly and intelligently choose to serve Him. That is the reason He placed the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden and then commanded them not to eat of it. If He wanted man to blindly follow Him, God would not have placed the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the first place.

God will never remove this precious gift from us. If He does so, that would indicate that God made a mistake in the beginning by giving it in the first place.

If we are called to blindly give alms and offerings without knowing how much we have given, it is removing that precious gift of voluntary service. The Bible says that we are “transformed by the renewing” of our “mind” (Romans 12:2). The mind is never bypassed in anything.

Think for a moment: Would God appreciate if you gave a big gift as an offering, and you did not know how much you gave, or would He prefer that you gave a big gift knowing fully how much you gave? Of course, the second method of giving would truly please Him!

What Christ meant was not to make announcements when giving but to give secretly and wholeheartedly, for it is written:

“Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7)