In this passage, Jesus admonishes an inward, secret religion (Matt. 6: 4, 6, 18). He suggests almsgiving, prayer, and fasting all be done in private. This is a call for an internal religion focused on the condition of the heart as opposed to outward appearances (Romans 2:28-29). In contrast, he warned against doing things only to be “seen” by men (Matt. 6:5, 16, 18). Seeking the glory of men leads to a religion of white washed sepulchers, appearing beautiful on the outside but devoid of personal religion (Matt. 23:27-28). Examine your motives and be assured your religion is inward first; make the appearance of holiness secondary. It is the condition of the heart that matters most.
Further Reading – Matt. 23:25-26