Should I give to charity anonymously?


Clarify Share Report Asked August 28 2019 Image08312011144014 Peggy Johnson

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
I would say that Jesus' cautioning (in passages such as Matthew 6:1-4) against publicizing such charitable gifts was centered on the individual's motivation for making the gift. What is to be avoided by the person giving the gift is doing so in a manner that deliberately draws the attention of others (and, particularly, as many others as possible) who might not otherwise be aware of the gift to the action, so that the person's philanthropy will be noticed and praised by other people.

However, I can think of instances where, for legitimate temporal reasons, even a Christian might not want such a donation to be completely anonymous (for example, in order to have a tangible record in the individual's own name for taxation purposes). As long as such an action does not involve, or is not motivated by, the type of excessive or deliberate self-promotion described above, I would say that it would be spiritually permissible. (However, if the Christian does not care about such temporal considerations, then such documenation would not be required, and the gift could certainly be made anonymously.)

In addition, even if the Christian instructs the receiver of the gift not to publicize it, the Christian would not (in my opinion) be responsible in God's eyes for any publicizing of it that occurs in cases, or for reasons, beyond the Christian's control.

August 29 2019 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Mini Gary Wofford
God shows considerable restraint in always giving us the freedom of choice to make decisions and reap the consequences. This is true in almost every decision we make. Of course, the most important decision we ever make is whether to commit our lives to Him. The consequences are enormous.

In the realm of giving, again He gives us freedom of choice. He never takes that away and forces us to do anything. The choice to make is when and where we choose to be rewarded for our giving. He says if we give to receive the praise of men, then we have received all of the reward we will get. If we give because of the love we have for Him, without the recognition of men, then our reward will be in Heaven. So the choice is yours. When and where do you want your reward?

Avoiding earthly rewards in regard to giving doesn't only leave the option of giving anonymously or as a known giver. For instance, I have given to ministries that were just getting started and discussed it with the minister in charge of that ministry. We decided that to offer a matching challenge would be the best way to approach it. Hence, I was known to the minister so that we could plan how to best achieve the goal of financing the ministry. It also served as a very positive encouragement to the minister to know that I was fully backing his work in the new ministry. So there were reasons to identify myself and plan best how to proceed. I was never publicly acknowledged and didn't want to be. It was just between the two of us. I think that there are choices about how we give and why we identify ourselves in addition to when and where we will receive our reward. 

The bottom line is that we give for the right motivation. If we give as a result of our love and gratitude for who God is and what He has done for us, and don't seek public praise, then I think we have made our decision to be rewarded in Heaven.

August 30 2019 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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