“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.” (Matthew 6: 3-4).
When we give for the praise of others, while it may be beneficial to the recipient, our motivation is wrong.
It’s ok to be recognized for our acts of service, the problem is when it becomes our primary reason for doing them.
One commentary has this to say:
“…If we humbly seek to help others, we will be openly rewarded by our heavenly Father. What seems private and unnoticed by other people is public, even center stage, before God.” (Life Recovery Bible 1998)
So why does our motivation matter as long as the cause is just? Because God cares about who we are, and He judges our character based on what we do, even when no one is looking. He also cares about who we’re really doing it for.
Jesus said: “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
If we are truly doing it for Him we will not need to “announce it with trumpets… to be honored by others.” (Matthew 6:2)