“But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,.”
There’s an old addage I’ve always been especially fond of that says: “If you’ve done something right, no one will know you’ve done anything at all.”
This is a defining principle of most craft and trade work. For example, carpenters who particularly care about the quality of their work will prioritize housekeeping, of all things.
Really the only time housekeeping is noticed on a construction site is when it’s needed. It’s easy to forget about the trash on the ground until you roll your ankle over an empty water bottle, then suddenly the need becomes very clear. So, as the adage says, if housekeeping is done right, you don’t really know it’s been done at all.
Christ is certainly conveying a similar message in the opening of Matthew Chapter Six.
Multiple reminders are given that good deeds should be done because they’re the right thing to do, and not for the sake of being seen or rewarded.
This is especially important, as often life presents us the opportunity to do the right thing when no one else is watching. Be it giving food to a hungry person at the side of the road, or donating to a charity at the cash register, or saying a prayer in the middle of the night for someone because you feel like they need it right then.
If we only ever did good when someone else would be nearby to praise us for it, we’d rarely ever do any good. On the other hand, when we’re doing it right, no one should know we did anything at all.