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Rev. Dr. Delesslyn A. Kennebrew, J.D., M.Div.

Visionary Strategist Faithful Innovator Inspirational Essayist

Salvation and Stilettos Blog


Keep Your Hands to Yourself... Reinterpreted

Posted on August 17, 2015 at 9:43 AM

As we continue our #BestPractices Series, our verses for today remind me of an instruction that I am sure that all of us heard as children...  KEEP YOUR HANDS TO YOURSELF!  This phrase was used most often was a word of caution to not hit, punch, or poke other children or people.  It was an early lesson on setting boundaries and respecting personal space.  I can appreciate the intentions behind these words and have followed and shared the same instruction with others.

But given our text for this morning, I cannot help but to reconsider this phrase... KEEP YOUR HANDS TO YOURSELF!  As I understand Jesus' instruction in Matthew 6:2-4, I know he is not referring to the kind of physical contact as I have already discussed; however, for some reason, I think these words ring true as a summary for what Jesus is saying in these verses...

2 “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. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.


Friends, Jesus is basically saying that when you do good, just do good and do not announce, brag, or boast about your doing good for the recognition of other people.  He does not say that others might not acknowledge the good that you have done, but he is saying that we should not do good to ensure that they will.  So, KEEP YOUR HANDS TO YOURSELF!

And I will admit this can be hard.  We can get very excited about being used by God to spread love and mercy among our family, friends, and even strangers.  We can be joyful and jubilant about the opportunities we have to be the hands and feet of Christ in our local community.  We can even want to invite others to join us in our efforts to make this world a better place by letting our light so shine.  Our intentions to announce, brag, or boast might seem to come from a good place.  But this passage forces us to wrestle with our ego and immediate rewards versus God truly getting all the glory and delayed rewards. 

How do we ensure that our God gets all the glory in our secret and public acts of kindness, charity, or sacrifice in this world?  We must KEEP OUR HANDS TO OURSELVES!!!  We must practice doing good without announcing it.  We must do our God-led actions without needing an audience to celebrate that we followed God's will.  We must preach, serve, sing, pray, and love without a desire for a pat on the back or a standing ovation.  We must do the right thing and look to God for the reward God chooses to give.

BlogFam, KEEP YOUR HANDS TO YOURSELF!  There is no need for you to sound your own trumpet, toot your own horn, blow your own whistle in order to draw attention to yourself for the good you have done!  Just do good and keep doing good and do not pause for your own praise!

Blessings, Glory, and Sunshine!

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Categories: Best Practices

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1 Comment

Reply Elder Dorothy. M. Garrison
3:24 PM on August 17, 2015 
Today's blog reminded me of last Friday, I had completed my pedicure appointment and as I attempted to pay the cashier she stated "the lady you were talking with already paid for you." The person paid for my pedicure and left the shop, saying nothing, this as a "Keep Your Hands To Yourself" moment, also a blessing moment. She said nothing, just walked away. Thanks Pastor for your blog today. I also used this for my devotion today. DMG