Giving in Secret and Sinning in Public

“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 6:2-4

Today let’s talk about the gift and power of secrecy. Now, before you get all worked up about how “cultish” that sounds, be assured that it’s an old idea with origins in Jewish culture. It’s something Jesus talked about in Matthew 6, when he told his followers to give without telling anybody else.

I want to make it clear right away that this is not a law or a mandate. I don’t want legalism to seep in, but I do think it’s a good idea to account for our “sin” and “good works” practices every now and then to keep our spiritual lives balanced. When we sin and do things we know we shouldn’t do, we usually do so in secret. When we sin, we don’t go about bragging about how much we want our neighbor’s automobile or how addicted we are to a substance. “If you’re going to sin, sin boldly!” Martin Luther once stated. Contrary to this behavior, when we give money to someone in need or sacrifice our time for another, we tend to want to let people know. Nowadays, this could be sharing something on social media or casually discussing it to friends and coworkers. Whatever the case may be, Jesus instructs us to accomplish our good deeds in private as bearers of His Name. This is why I encourage you to shift your mindset and let your tongue speak more about your flaws than your goodness.

Friend, you will create balance that keeps you humble and allows you to connect more deeply with people when you feel comfortable being honest and vulnerable about your sins and struggles and holding your tongue when it comes to boasting. Arrogance isolates you, whereas vulnerability attracts people to you and allows you to share the source of your hope and salvation. Jesus gives you the strength to be transparent because you are accepted and completely loved. Even better, when you’re honest about your transgressions and take responsibility for them, misbehavior loses its hold on you.


Jesus, humble my heart and give me the strength to be open about my challenges while resisting the want to brag about my accomplishments.


Do you have a tendency to “sin boldly”? What are your thoughts about this practice, and how could Jesus be able to assist you?

If you’re unable to attend your local church or need some additional weekly inspiration, be sure to tune into Hour of Power every Saturday night at 6:30 p.m. PT on TBN or watch online at  

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