Can Your Right Hand Keep a Secret from your Left?

A hard-working young mother who lives in my city wanted to raise her children in her own home. Her circumstances qualified her for a Habitat for Humanity project. She invested her ‘sweat equity’ in its construction and the day came to close on the modest mortgage and move the family into the new quarters.

I stopped by to learn the young mother’s progress only to find her face flooded with tears, her eyes reddened from weeping. Alarmed, I asked the cause of her tears.

Earlier that day, a woman unknown to her knocked at the door, asking to see the new home. After the stranger was given a tour of the house, the young mother asked why the visitor would want to see her home. The stranger explained: “I want to pay off your mortgage.” The tears were tears of joy. This family moved into a debt-free brick home. That anonymous act of charity forever changed lives.

The graphic below features two men, Herbert Hoover and Myron T. Herrick, whose charitable acts saved the lives of many people. What distinguishes them, one from the other, is the way they carried out their respective benevolence. Mr. Hoover insisted on publicity. Even after reading this far, you still have no idea the identity of Mr. Herrick.

president herbert hoover on left - ambassador myron t herrick on the right

How is it possible that Herbert Hoover’s charity was widely publicized, but you haven’t a clue about the selfless services from Myron Herrick’s hand? The answer is found in the Bible.

Rabbi Jesus taught Charity 101 to his disciples and the lesson plan is found in the New Testament from which I quote:

Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do—blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get. But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.” – Jesus Christ, Matthew 6:1-4

Have you experienced the death of a child? Is the mortgage company about to foreclose on your home loan? Has someone whom you believed to be a close friend betrayed you? Perhaps your spouse suddenly announced he or she found someone with whom he or she preferred to live. Such issues tend to draw all our attention to ourselves.

Regardless your situation, there will always be someone in greater distress than you.

Locally, churches feature food pantries, financial assistance, counseling, and encouragement. The Helping Hands organization, chiefly funded by our citizens and participating churches, provides ample opportunities to serve others.

CARE Center Ministries (CCM) located in the Pleasant Grove area of Dallas actually had its genesis right here in the City of Rockwall over thirty years ago. As stated on the website, “CareCenter Ministries was founded in 1986 with a calling to address the issues of addiction, poverty and crime through the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. poignantly remarked, “Life’s persistent and most urgent question is “What are you doing for others?””

The question that begs an answer: Will you be a Hoover or a Herrick in 2018?

John White
Rockwall, Texas

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