Today, take yourself out of the picture. Act generously for someone else without them noticing, and leave no mark that it was you. See what completely anonymous generosity does when you take yourself, your goals, and your self-image off the stage.
Green: Leave change taped to a car park meter or vending machine.
Amber: Give a generous gift to someone you work with or volunteer with. Leave it on their desk while they’re on lunch and no one’s watching.
Red: How easy is it to hide an elephant? Not very. Think of a large gift and try and deliver it undercover.
“Be careful not to practise 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 honoured 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 NIV)
When my husband and I were first married, we had to account for every penny we spent (I did a huge clear-out of my office recently and we smiled over an old notebook that reminded us of all the furious adding and subtracting I used to do). We simply didn’t have money left over for anything fun or frivolous. But God still challenged us to be generous with both our money and time.
I remember a young family that struggled to make ends meet. In the run-up to Christmas, when we were saving hard to buy presents for our families, God told us to give that family some money anonymously. I was a little taken aback; after all, I’d done my budgeting and it didn’t allow for a generous gift! But he was very clear. So, we made arrangements for the money to make it to them safely without their discovering the source.
Soon after, we were travelling up to the Millennium Dome to enjoy the Christmas festivities and the wife of that same family came with us. She was overflowing with excitement as she shared the story of receiving money that was exactly the amount they needed.
I had not been prepared for how full my heart became when I heard the impact that our small step of obedience had. I was literally overwhelmed with such gratitude and love… and had a hard time keeping it in. I know that generosity often reaps its own rewards, but, as Matthew 6 suggests, our God does indeed bless those who do it in secret.