Matthew 6:3

3 When you help someone out, don't think about how it looks.

Matthew 6:3 Meaning and Commentary

Matthew 6:3

But when thou dost alms
Do it so privately, and with so much secrecy, that, if it was possible, thou mightest not know it thyself, much less make it known to others:

let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doth;
acquaint not thy nearest and dearest friend with it; let not one that sits at thy left hand know what thou art doing with thy right hand; it is a proverbial and hyperbolical phrase, expressing the secrecy of the action. It is a Jewish canon F16, that

``he that gives a gift to his friend out of love, may make it known, (hqdub al lba) , "but not if it be by way of alms".''


F16 Piske Tosephot in Sabbat. c. 1. art. 134.

Matthew 6:3 In-Context

1 "Be especially careful when you are trying to be good so that you don't make a performance out of it. It might be good theater, but the God who made you won't be applauding.
2 "When you do something for someone else, don't call attention to yourself. You've seen them in action, I'm sure - 'playactors' I call them - treating prayer meeting and street corner alike as a stage, acting compassionate as long as someone is watching, playing to the crowds. They get applause, true, but that's all they get.
3 When you help someone out, don't think about how it looks.
4 Just do it - quietly and unobtrusively. That is the way your God, who conceived you in love, working behind the scenes, helps you out.
5 "And when you come before God, don't turn that into a theatrical production either. All these people making a regular show out of their prayers, hoping for stardom! Do you think God sits in a box seat?
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved.