In today’s reading (Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18) Jesus addresses three ways in which the religious leaders of his day showed off.
The problem wasn’t only the matter of pride however. Their showing off was especially reprehensible because, pretending to impress God, they had taken their eyes off him and were watching for the accolades of others.
Jesus said that that hypocrisy had received its reward, but not from God. In fact one wonders how many other people were actually impressed by their show of religion. When it boils down the “reward” was probably all in their own heads.
The bottom line is in our motivations for what we do. Who are we trying to impress?