Fasting, praying, and giving alms must be done secretly and without hypocrisy to be rewarded openly by your heavenly father.
Matthew 6:16 New King James Version (NKJV)
16 “Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.
Jesus continues in his Sermon on the Mount about fasting. As we stay at Jesus’ feet we begin to receive the gifts. We must become mature enough to receive from God and not use them to fill a void from our early insecurities. We must overcome a hypocritical nature and make a decision. We have come to the feet of Jesus to learn.
Hypocrites were more interested in human praise than that of the Lord. They were judgemental of others’ faults while ignoring their own faults. They purport an external godliness while internally they are dark and sinister.
So when you are giving up something, do not be like the hypocrites with their sad countenances. Instead you must anoint your head and put on a happy face. Then God will reward you openly.
When you’re doing charitable deeds and when you’re praying and when you’re fasting, do it with the Lord. Don’t do it just to be recognized by people. Don’t do it just as a function of being a part of a church or part of an assembly or a part of a group. Do it because you’re really wanting to hear from the Lord. You’re really wanting to reach out and touch God.