Lent 2024 | Day 31

ByJanet Nygren
Day 31 (Wednesday, Mar 20)

As I enter prayer now, I pause to be still; to breathe slowly, to re-center my scattered senses upon the presence of God.1

Pause and pray.

“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. “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 others. Truly I tell you, 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 6:1-4)

Think about it.

When we die to ourselves in terms of material goods, we come to a place of committing our resources to something or someone that will benefit from our generosity. Jesus points out that we have to do it with the right attitude in order for it to be a J-curve. If we only give because it will benefit our honor, or we will get some other “payback,” then it isn’t really walking in Jesus’ steps. Jesus suggests that giving secretly is one step toward having the right attitude.


Even when we give with the right attitude, whether with money or actions, we often expect something in return. “You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.” We live in a culture that is very transactional in nature, and it spills over into all kinds of subtle expectations. We give lip-service to unconditional love, but we’re often surprised when our hearts are exposed to believe something else. If a spouse doesn’t keep up their end of the chores, why should we? If they haven’t forgiven me, I might make them pay, at least for a while, until they realize their error. As you think about your giving, monetarily or otherwise, how transactional are you?

Pause and pray.

Jesus, help me have faith to follow where you lead.

“One person gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.” (Proverbs 11:24)

  1.  Prayer used daily in Lectio365 found at https://www.24-7prayer.com/resource/lectio-365/

1 Comment

Nick Tebordo - March 20th, 2024 at 7:18am

Giving should flow from our relationship with Jesus-an outgrowth of life in the Spirit!




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