In Matthew, Jesus commands his disciples to “let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds.” In Matthew 6:1, Jesus warns to “be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others.” Although there is an important difference between “letting your light shine” to give glory to God and “practicing righteousness in front of others to be seen by them,” it is not always obvious what someone's motives are when they showcase their good deeds.
When examining our own “good works” we are usually pretty good at giving ourselves the benefit of the doubt. Sure, it may feel good to be recognized by others, but we know that even when our motives seem a little fuzzy, for the most part, our heart is in the right place. We are not always so gracious while evaluating the motives behind the good deeds of others.
Although we cannot control the motives behind the good deed of others, we do have some effect over the outcome of their good deeds. We can resent others for shamelessly trying to broadcast their righteousness. We can praise others and perhaps keep them from greater reward in heaven. Or we can “see (their) good deeds and glorify (our) Father in heaven.”