Reward Time

When we do something good or noteworthy we like to receive a reward.  This is normal and healthy.  In fact, you might say that is the way God made us.  Working for rewards or compensation is as normal as breathing.  The difficulty arises when we want to determine exactly when the reward will come, in what form, and how much.

For the Christian this is not an easy answer.  Let’s take the topic of when

Rewards for the Christian may come at different times.  Let’s create a few categories to help in understanding this.

Category 1 – Immediately or right away.  We like this one, because it fits our idea of how rewards should work.  When I do something good or noteworthy I would like to receive the reward immediately, if not sooner.  Alas, not all rewards come in when we expect them or want them to.

Category 2 – A short time later.  This one is a bit more difficult.  A short time may be hours, days, weeks, months, or even years.  But, in order to make this illustration meaningful we will say that ‘short’ means within a few months.

Category 3 – A medium time later.  Now this one is even more difficult, as it may take years for this to come to pass.  Let’s classify this as any time from 3 months to 10 years.

Category 4 – A long time later.  This category covers those rewards that may take anywhere from 10 years to a lifetime to come to fruition.  So long, in fact, we may have forgotten the original act that generated it.

Category 5 – Not in this lifetime.  Now we come to the most interesting category of rewards, but one that especially applies to the Christian.  Of course, we want our rewards here, and preferably sooner rather than later.  But, here is a category which says you won’t live (at least on this earth) long enough to realize it.

What many Christians tend to forget is that some rewards won’t be achieved in this lifetime.  They will come later.  Of course, if we can’t see it, touch it, or imagine what it is it tends to have less meaning for us.

What things fall into category 5?  Well, I can’t tell everything, as I don’t know everything, but I think there are some rewards that clearly fit this unique category:

  1. Certain crowns are reserved for those who accomplish specific tasks such as winning souls, or being martyred for the sake of Christ.
  2. Tasks that were done for God in secret that were not rewarded in this lifetime.
  3. Kindnesses showed to others that we counted as a ‘small’ thing, but to God they were ‘big’ things.  This might include lots of things that we take for granted, such as sending ‘pick-me up’ cards, visiting the sick, helping the poor, praying for individuals, giving a word of encouragement, ‘washing the saints feet’, etc…
  4. Sacrifices made for God.  These are not always rewarded in this lifetime.

So, the big question becomes – do we only work for those rewards that are immediate?  Rewards that come from people versus from God?  Rewards that only come in this lifetime?

One Response to “Reward Time”

  1. Bea McGuire Says:

    I loved this blog! Something we all needed to be reminded of. I especially liked #3 because I think the average Christian falls into this catagory a lot. It’s good to be reminded often what we are really working for….the unseen rewards that will come later. Blessings!

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