Sunday, November 11, 2012

Storing Up Rewards

Still thinking about rewards after last week... Actually, I think about rewards a lot.

This post may offend some. I don't mean to offend, and I'm certainly not judging anyone; I am just wrestling this out.

I think of rewards as eternal treasure (lasting, desirable, and valuable). Why are they desirable?Because treasure is valuable, and they are eternal! Never fade, never disappear, never lose value, are never stolen, are never destroyed... And it is okay to want it, to be motivated by it. In fact, we are told to go after it!

Example: $3 buys one Bible (for someone in India). Now, I could spend $15 on say something decorative or pretty like a pair of earrings (that will rust and break), OR I could buy five Bibles for people that do not own the Scriptures (and earn some eternal rewards).

Need I ask which one is smarter? I mean, it really is a matter of brains. Spending money on earthly goods can be stupid! Who would trade what they cannot keep for what they cannot lose?!

That reminds me of something I use to tell Ricky a lot. We would drive by these humongous, beautiful houses on the beach when we lived in Wilmington. And boy, did they make me dream and wish and sigh and feel unsatisfied with my life and what I had. Ricky would look at me and ask, "You want one, don't you?" And I'd turn to him and respond, "So much so that I'm not going to waste my time trying to get one on this earth. I'm going to stack up my real bank account, so I can live in one in Heaven forever!"

Let me add one more important note that we wholeheartedly believe and live by: God is not concerned with how much you give but how much you keep. Bill Gates may be giving away hundreds of millions, but how much is he keeping for himself? $3 may not be a lot, but if it is given to God, He can and will use it. Multiply our little to feed the multitudes!

Look at the story of the widow giving her last two pennies to God. Two pennies -- that's like nothing! But it was her all. And Jesus held her up as the ultimate giving example (not Bill Gates). Just goes to show that the amount given is not what God sees but the amount kept.

Notes: I am not saying that buying things is wrong. We buy stuff -- ice cream and diapers and books --  but we buy stuff with the intention of either serving others or our family (to make us useful for Him) and cultivating relationships (within reason, meaning if you can do it for less then by all means do). We are fallen and sinful and selfish, so no we do not have this down pat. If we have one, we don't buy two. We do occasionally buy unnecessary stuff (not needed for survival, such as vitamins and music and gifts) because we do want to support our local economy (which is astronomically expensive on a global scale where the majority of the world live on less than $1.25 a day) and other worthwhile purchases. And we want to maintain good health -- we want to keep on living to encourage others to persevere as well as to make more money to keep on giving. We want to be known as giving warriors ;)