While watching tv last night, a commercial came on for a product and in the close the words, "Proud Donor to the Hurricane Sandy Fund!" Wow! I was turned off by this act. Do you have to pound on your chest and yell look at me! Look what I have done! It just blows my mind when we look for that "pat on the back" for an act of kindness. "Be careful not to do your acts of righteousness before men, to be seen by them" (Matt. 6:1). The key phrase is "to be seen by them." This isn't a knock for others becoming aware of your giving, prayers, fasting, Bible study, feeding the poor, missions work, or church attendance. Imjussayin! Rather, it's a command not to do these things in order to receive the recognition of men. Jesus says, "If you do, then you will have no reward from your Father in heaven." He meant if we do these things for human approval. The problem isn't doing good things with reward in mind but from whom? Are we looking for the reward from men rather than God?
Then Jesus says, "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 men". Trumpet blowing may seem silly and obvious. And yes, I know this was just another one of His many satires of less obvious things we do to get attention. But Christ's focus is the reason for which people draw attention to what they've done: "to be honored by men." Again, Christ's argument is not that our giving should never be seen, but only that we should never boast or flaunt it in order to get human recognition. When that happens, "I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full"! Imjussayin...what's your motive?