By Quin Hillyer at PJ Media;
The Bible contains numerous examples of passages that seem to contradict each other, some of them quite directly. One of my favorite contradictions involves a verse from today’s common Gospel reading, in this case Matthew 5:16: “Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” This seems to contradict the later Matthew passage of Chapter 6, verses 3 and 4: “But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret.”
The latter passage comes in the midst of a whole series of exhortations to not “trumpet” one’s own goodness and righteousness, or as the chapter explains in verse 1: “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them.”
But if one is not supposed to make an example of one’s own good works, how is one supposed to let others see one’s good works as a means of giving glory to God? Which is it: 1) Showcase goodness in order to encourage other goodness and bring people to appreciate the even greater goodness of God? Or 2) hide one’s own good deeds so as to make sure that the motive for the deed is pure, that of doing the deed for the deed’s sake and not for one’s reputation among others?….
Please read the whole column, about how to square this apparent circle, at the link earlier in this sentence.