In Matthew, Jesus explains to us that true worship and true giving are done in secret, between God and yourself. The Pharisees used giving as a way to draw attention to themselves, by blowing horns so that their alms were seen and heard by everyone. They also recited prayers repetitively in the streets so that they could be seen and heard by others.
Jesus makes it clear that anyone who gives in this fashion, receives the only blessing they will get at that moment of recognition by the outside world. Because they are seeking attention from the outside world instead of truly giving to please God, the Pharisees were robbed of God’s blessings in their lives. Reciting their prayers repetitively only gave them the satisfaction of seeming to have a relationship with God, when in truth, they were only playing the part. As Christians, we must avoid the pitfall of ‘playing the part,’ by being honest with God, and giving from our hearts. We must seek to please God alone, and not the outside world.