When you recite the Qur'aan, you are performing an act of worship, for which you are seeking Allaah's pleasure and reward سبحانه و تعالى. This, as well as all other acts of worship, must fulfill two conditions - sincerity and mutaaba'ah
(following the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم in the way one performs the act of worship; otherwise, the deed performed is rejected).
Imaam an-Nawawi رحمه الله explained that one who recites the Qur'aan is first and foremost commanded to be sincere in his recitation, to seek Allaah's countenance سبحانه و تعالى, and to not intend the achievement of any other goal. Imaam an-Nawawi رحمه الله makes an important point, for some reciters of the Qur'aan want to attract attention to themselves, desiring veneration from others - we ask Allaah سبحانه و تعالى to keep us safe and healthy [from such diseases]. It should be enough for a reciter to know the punishment awaiting him if he recites the Qur'aan so that people will praise him for his recitation, a punishment that is explained in the following hadeeth. Abu Hurairah رضي الله عنه related that the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم said,
إِنَّ أَوَّلَ النَّاسِ يُقْضَى يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ عَلَيْهِ رَجُلٌ اسْتُشْهِدَ فَأُتِيَ بِهِ فَعَرَّفَهُ نِعَمَهُ فَعَرَفَهَا قَالَ فَمَا عَمِلْتَ فِيهَا قَالَ قَاتَلْتُ فِيكَ حَتَّى اسْتُشْهِدْتُ . قَالَ كَذَبْتَ وَلَكِنَّكَ قَاتَلْتَ لأَنْ يُقَالَ جَرِيءٌ . فَقَدْ قِيلَ . ثُمَّ أُمِرَ بِهِ فَسُحِبَ عَلَى وَجْهِهِ حَتَّى أُلْقِيَ فِي النَّارِ وَرَجُلٌ تَعَلَّمَ الْعِلْمَ وَعَلَّمَهُ وَقَرَأَ الْقُرْآنَ فَأُتِيَ بِهِ فَعَرَّفَهُ نِعَمَهُ فَعَرَفَهَا قَالَ فَمَا عَمِلْتَ فِيهَا قَالَ تَعَلَّمْتُ الْعِلْمَ ..وَعَلَّمْتُهُ وَقَرَأْتُ فِيكَ الْقُرْآنَ . قَالَ كَذَبْتَ وَلَكِنَّكَ تَعَلَّمْتَ الْعِلْمَ لِيُقَالَ عَالِمٌ . وَقَرَأْتَ الْقُرْآنَ لِيُقَالَ هُوَ قَارِئٌ . فَقَدْ قِيلَ ثُمَّ أُمِرَ بِهِ فَسُحِبَ عَلَى وَجْهِهِ حَتَّى أُلْقِيَ فِي النَّارِ ...الحديث
"The first person to be judged on the Day of Resurrection is a man who was martyred. He will be brought [forward]; the blessings he received will be mentioned to him and he will acknowledge them. Then He (Allaah) will say, 'What did you do for them (i.e., what did you do to show thankfulness for those blessings)?' He will say, 'I fought for You until I was martyred.' Allaah سبحانه و تعالى will say, 'You have lied; instead you fought so that it would be said: "[He is] brave," and that has indeed been said [about you]. ' Then an order will be given regarding that man, and he will be dragged on his face until he is thrown into the Hellfire. [Another among the first to be judged is] a man who learned the Qur'aan, taught it, and recited it. He will be brought [forward]; the blessings he received will be mentioned to him and he will acknowledge them. Then He will say, 'What did you do for them?' The man will say, 'I learned knowledge and taught it. And I recited the Qur'aan for You.' He سبحانه و تعالى will say, 'You have lied. But instead you learned knowledge so that it would be said: "[He is] a scholar;" and you recited the Qur'aan, so that it would be said: "He is a reciter," and [both statements] have been said.' Then an order will be given regarding him, and he will be dragged on his face until he is thrown into the Hellfire..."
  Notes:
 Muslim 1905.
 Shaykh Fu'ad Ibn 'Abdul-'Azeez Ash-Shulhoob حفظه الله, The Book of Manners (Darussalam), pp. 17-18.
See also: A Muslim's Obligation Toward the Qur'an