Be sure you do not perform your acts of piety before men, for them to watch; if you do that, you have no title to a reward from your Father who is in heaven.
Thus, when thou givest alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in synagogues and in streets, to win the esteem of men. Believe me, they have their reward already.
But when thou givest alms, thou shalt not so much as let thy left hand know what thy right hand is doing,
so secret is thy almsgiving to be; and then thy Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward thee.
And when you pray, you are not to be like hypocrites, who love to stand praying in synagogues or at street-corners, to be a mark for men’s eyes; believe me, they have their reward already.
But when thou art praying, go into thy inner room and shut the door upon thyself, and so pray to thy Father in secret; and then thy Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward thee.
Moreover, when you are at prayer, do not use many phrases, like the heathens, who think to make themselves heard by their eloquence.
You are not to be like them; your heavenly Father knows well what your needs are before you ask him.
This, then, is to be your prayer, Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come; thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven;
give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
Your heavenly Father will forgive you your transgressions, if you forgive your fellow men theirs;
if you do not forgive them, your heavenly Father will not forgive your transgressions either.
Again, when you fast, do not shew it by gloomy looks, as the hypocrites do. They make their faces unsightly, so that men can see they are fasting; believe me, they have their reward already.
But do thou, at thy times of fasting, anoint thy head and wash thy face,
so that thy fast may not be known to men, but to thy Father who dwells in secret; and then thy Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward thee.
Do not lay up treasure for yourselves on earth, where there is moth and rust to consume it, where there are thieves to break in and steal it;
lay up treasure for yourselves in heaven, where there is no moth or rust to consume it, no thieves to break in and steal.
Where your treasure-house is, there your heart is too.
The eye is the light of the whole body, so that if thy eye is clear, the whole of thy body will be lit up;
whereas if thy eye is diseased, the whole of thy body will be in darkness. And if the light which thou hast in thee is itself darkness, what of thy darkness? How deep will that be!
A man cannot be the slave of two masters at once; either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will devote himself to the one and despise the other. You must serve God or money; you cannot serve both.
I say to you, then, do not fret over your life, how to support it with food and drink; over your body, how to keep it clothed. Is not life itself a greater gift than food, the body than clothing?
See how the birds of the air never sow, or reap, or gather grain into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them; have you not an excellence beyond theirs?
Can any one of you, for all his anxiety, add a cubit’s growth to his height?
And why should you be anxious over clothing? See how the wild lilies grow; they do not toil or spin;
and yet I tell you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
If God, then, so clothes the grasses of the field, which to-day live and will feed the oven to-morrow, will he not be much more ready to clothe you, men of little faith?
Do not fret, then, asking, What are we to eat? or What are we to drink? or How shall we find clothing?
It is for the heathen to busy themselves over such things; you have a Father in heaven who knows that you need them all.
Make it your first care to find the kingdom of God, and his approval, and all these things shall be yours without the asking.
Do not fret, then, over to-morrow; leave to-morrow to fret over its own needs; for to-day, to-day’s troubles are enough.