“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 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. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”
Here, Jesus warns against hypocrisy concerning giving. The word “hypocrisy” in the greek originally referred to an actor who wore a mask that portrayed in an exaggerated way the role that actor was playing. For obvious reasons, the term came to be used of anyone who pretended to be what he or she was not. Additionally the phrase “to be seen” comes from the Greek word that is related to our English word, “theatre.” In short, Jesus was not pleased with the religious leaders' theatrics.
So then how should we give? Jesus was criticizing the impure motives of the Pharisees. They were giving to be praised by men.
So then, what are some pure motives for giving?
Jesus criticized the religious leaders for their improper methods of giving. They gave publicly with the intention of being seen. They drew attention to themselves.
So what is the proper manner?
Dear Christian, are you real? Do you claim to be a Christian? Do you claim to be godly, but yet hold back from God? This is the hypocrisy that Jesus spoke against. If you give to please men, you will have your reward from men but not from God. If you give spiritually as God requires, you will be rewarded by God. Remember what was told to the believers in Galatia: “Let the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches. Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”