“But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.”
Jesus turned to the positive dimension of giving in verses three and four.
But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,
Charitable deeds should be done in private and not to be noticed by others. Not letting our left hand know what our right hand is doing is an idiom dealing with approbation lust. No believer is to let his ego lust control his giving.
that your charitable deed may be in secret;
The idea of “secret” is private. God knows our actions and that is all that is necessary.
and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.
God knows what we do in private. He will reward us for right motivation at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Matthew refers to reward three times in this section (6:4, 6, 18).
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Sa 16:7
Giving for human applause is not giving but buying.
Giving with the wrong motive robs us of eternal reward. Giving for human approbation and applause is not giving but buying. By buying applause from men we forfeit reward from God.
Motivation for giving rests on what Christ did for us.
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich. 2 Co 8:9
We should not press the application of giving privately to the point where there is absolutely no public giving. The early church gave publically by laying down their gifts at the apostles’ feet (Ac 4:34-37).