9 of 17 NT versions render "works" as deeds. The NIV is typical: In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see
your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven (Mt. 5:16).
An online commentary has this: Jesus refers here to more than good deeds; he refers to a good character.
From billygraham.org If people are hungry, Jesus calls us to feed them. If they are sick, we are to
visit them (and send them doctors and nurses). If they are homeless, we are to
provide shelter. Amazingly, God shows His goodness through His people.
Jesus said, Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good
works, and glorify your Father ... in heaven.
From Christian Apologetics Research Ministry: Mt. 5:16 is in the context of the
beatitudes where Jesus is teaching proper,
good, and moral behavior. Disciples of Jesus are to be lights; that is, doers
are variations but, in general, Christians understand "good deeds,"
beginning with their translations! By this they expose their
ignorance of the Lord and his gospel.
Jesus said also: Beware of practicing your piety before men in order to be
seen by them; for then you will have no reward from your Father who is
in heaven. . . .
But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right
hand is doing, so that your alms may be in secret; and your Father who
sees in secret will reward you (Mt.6:1-4).
They usually point to motive to reconcile this with Mat. 5:16, and
motive is in both texts. Do it before men so that God gets the glory in
Mt.5:16, but do not do it before men to avoid receiving the glory
yourself, in Mt. 6:1-4. But this does not explain the simple fact
that, in one case, Jesus commands us to do something before men so that they may see it, and in the other he directs us to do good deeds (alms) not before men so that men do not
see them. If giving God the glory is the purpose of public "good deeds"
in 5:16, why not also in 6:3,4? So, if 5:16 refers to good deeds,
we have a contradiction in the Word of Truth, which is absurd. There is a
misunderstanding of one or both texts.The error is in 5:16 when the
Greek, erga, is rendered good deeds. Some translations read good works, and this is correct. There is a difference!
Jesus said: If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; but if I do them, . . . believe the works, (Jn.10:37,38). The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority; but the Father who dwells in me does his works (Jn.14:10). To speak His words is his work! Then we hear: I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life (Jn.8:12). While you have the light, believe the light (the words) that you may become sons of light (Jn 12:36).You are the light of the world.
A city set on a hill cannot be hid, Nor do men light a lamp and put it
under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.(Mt.5:14-16). We who receive the light (Word) are the sons of light, and are become the light of the world by speaking the Word. Thus we do the good works that
enlighten those who believe and give glory to the Father. So, in
Mat. 5:16, Jesus speaks of but one good work, that of speaking the
Word. There is no contadiction with Mat. 6:1-4. More