Quiet Encouragement

"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 6:3-4).

Children love secrets, and one joy I experienced as a homeschooling parent was teaching my children the thrill of being secret gift-givers. Following Christ's illustration in Matthew 6, I encouraged them to ask God's guidance to think of ways to bless their family, friends, and neighbors. At first, this task was difficult, since little ones like to tell everything they know. However, as my children grew older, not only did they become thoughtful and generous givers, but they also became quite adept in disguising any connection with the gift. Countless times, I found myself humbled and encouraged when receiving a gift at day's end without knowing who had laid the treasure on my pillow.

What about your homeschooling family? In a world where most people are trying to take and get ahead, teaching your children to give secret gifts from God can seem quite contrary. Like Christ Jesus who died for us while we were yet sinners (Romans 5:8), help them bless another homeschool family, church family, or unsaved neighbor near you today. Let your children discover the exciting truth of Acts 20:35b: "It is more blessed to give than to receive."

Father, every good and perfect gift is from You, and we can only give away what You have already given to us. Use our family to be a secret blessing to someone today, and may You receive all the glory and praise. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Comments(7 comments)

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CHERITH N 09/21/2008 19:14:34

What good thoughts especially in light of the up and coming (only 90 something more days my daughter told me today) Christmas holiday. I would also like to hear what you and family have done in lou of all the hustle/bustle of the "gift" giving season?

BONNIE R 09/21/2011 03:29:41

What a wonderful reminder! One way our family has applied this is by getting involved in Operation Christmas Child, the Shoebox ministry. Our children are encouraged to use their money to buy gfts or to make gifts to help fill a shoebox for a child they will probably never know. These boxes are sent all over the world and each one contains the gospel message in their language. Bonnie R

MASHELL A 09/21/2011 05:29:07

I needed this reminder this morning! my children love to give gifts of mostly pictures and writings of telling us how much they love us. i was just thiinking last night as i was coming home how can we reach out to others and not be recognized for those things. I homeschool one child out of 6 and i know my 5 would love to lift up their teachers in this way! thank you for your scripture and message from the Lord today. Mom of 6

KATHY S 09/21/2012 06:01:15

My son is the moost generous and giving child that I know ( in my world) in this day and age. He does\'t give with money (that would be hard because unless I give him money, he is \"special\" he can\'t go out and earn it). So I hope this counts, he gives his time and helps me and his Grandma with groceries, laundry carrying, he can even vacuum somewhat, and never complains. He gives more Love to me and my Mother than one could possibly imagine. He constantly tells us he loves us and will hug us, and because I\'m still limping, he holds my arm or hand so I don\'t fall again. He spent 8 weeks taking care of me while I was in a wheelchair, making me breakfast and lunch out of what ever he could mircrowave or toast and then Grandma did dinner. He spent 8 different times with me at the hospital waiting for sometimes 8-10 hours in the emergency room, patient, and all he cared about was that I was o.k.. That is true giving of ones self. May God Bless my child a million times over for all his love and caring. I know this was on alms giving, I\'m sorry I got carried away with my stories. Someday if it is possible for him to get a job, I\'ll teach him about alms giving too. Wonderful dtory from the Author as always! Thank you Jesus for giving me my son, my most precious gift from you.

KATHY S 09/21/2012 06:16:31

I\'ll quickly add, Mom and I give him things that he wants for all his help. We feel he should be rewarded for all the wonderful things he does.

TRACEY D 09/21/2012 06:27:38

Amen, well said. So many people today want accolades for what they have done. About 3 or 4 years ago, my brother-in-law was tragically killed in a work accident. We had no money to travel. A pastor from church called and said, there is an envelope here for your family. We went to pick it up and it had $2000 in it. Never knew who the person was, only know that all good things great and small come from God.

ANISCIA B 09/21/2012 06:39:50

If only we can be more like our children who give with their hearts without thinking they are to get something in return. So many kids today feel that they are owed something, so it\'s up to us to place a giving servants heart within so they can feel the joy that one feels when we give from the heart. My children are true givers and I\'m so proud of them, one day at the laundromat, my 8year old daughter was playing her DS, and a little girl told her that hers had broken, my daughter came to me and asked if she could give it to her and I told her it was up to her. She gave it to her and little did she know that her grandpa was sending her a new and better one with lots of games. Since she gave freely, God blessed her in abundance. The point is she did it without thinking that she was getting something in return. thank you Father for giving me the most wonderful and loving children that remind me daily of the fruit of the spirit.

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