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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Is There Anything There, There?

Matthew 6:1-4 (NLT)

“Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven.  When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do—blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get. But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.”

The question “Is there anything there, there?” arises most often with celebrities.  There is stupendous publicity (the best money can buy) and constant news coverage.  The result is there is plenty evidence of an artfully created character on display for public consumption, but little evidence of quiet ethical character in decision making. There can be highly publicized examples of charity to deepen an otherwise shallow image, but a sustaining suspicion remains that the highly displayed charity is anything other than yet another example of incessant self-aggrandizement.  As a test of sincerity Jesus said in charity one should not let the left hand know what the right is doing.  When the good deed is publicly trumpeted, it is usually strong evidence of primarily selfish motivation.  Particularly troublesome for me is the sight of comedians performing to keep the troops laughing during their killing responsibilities with no thought whatever as to the justifications of the war or even the atrocities being committed.  I would rather, on such occasions, find the celebrity quietly advocating change in the voting booth.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

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