Whenever you give to the poor, don’t blow a trumpet before you like the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets so that they will be praised by people. I tell you with certainty, they have their full reward!
But when you give to the poor, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be done in secret.
Matthew 6:2-3 (New International Version)
It’s not only a Christian idea that it’s better to give in secret: it’s common among people of all religions and none. Our culture strongly discourages anything that could be perceived as ‘showing off’, and showing off about your own altruism (which by its nature should be other-centred rather than self-centred) adds an extra layer of hypocrisy.
Does anyone else remember Smashie and Nicey, whose catchphrase was: “he does a lot of work for charidee…
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