“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.” (Matthew 5:14 KJV)
“Cannot be hid…” Not ought not or should not, but cannot. Really? Have you ever tried to hide God’s radiant and piercing light? Have you ever attempted to shine that light in some deep dark back street alley away from any fane fare and have it discovered by exactly the audience that God intended for it to be seen by? Would you believe that He actually turns around and gives us a specific example of how this might look in the very next chapter? Let’s look at this.
“But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.” (Matthew 6:3,4 KJV) Now, hang on a second. Did He not just tell us to shine before men? “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16 KJV) So, which is it? Do we let the goodness of God be seen by anyone who is looking? Or do we stuff this gift in a secret sack and hand it out with such hiddenness that one of our own hands does not even see it go?
What actually happens when you fill a real need? First, the recipient knows exactly how that need was filled. In fact, their very first means of giving glory is straight to God. Yes, they know who physically handed the gift out, but they are smart enough to give the glory to where the gift actually came from. Then what happens? Someone, or as often is the case, everyone finds out about it. What was literally a really really well kept secret gets out. Here is where everyone else has to make a decision in their own heart. They see what happened and how it happened. They can either also give glory to God for the very real need that was actually fulfilled, or they can begin judging. I say judging, but to them it is dissecting. They are breaking apart key elements. Was this necessary? Was this a good idea? Was this the best use of these efforts? What else may have been done here? What else may have been done with this gift? So, the giver has to wrestle with providing an answer to the questions that they were trying to duck to begin with, and ultimately has to settle right back to the same clarity of focus on the God that they were looking at when they originally gave the gift. The acknowledgement is a best fit realizing that His light cannot be hid.
“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matthew 6:21 KJV)