I think that the true test of character (and faith) is internal motivation. Do you still do right when there’s no reward for it? Do you do your best? Or do you take the quick and easy way out if there’s no chance of being reciprocated for your efforts?
Too often, we don’t realize that reality isn’t a tit-for-tat exchange. Why put in the time and effort if nobody knows you did it? And then, these are the types that get jealous at what they see as a “windfall of luck” that’s in reality the result of long, hard work that was ignored or unrecognized until now. We don’t get that there’s no such thing as luck. You get what you give, and it might take a long time for the exchange to occur. Mediocrity is fine if you just want to get by, but it’s never going to lift you beyond to the glory you could have. Too many people expect to shine with mediocrity and don’t realize that it’s a foundation of sand that washes away at the first sign of wind – and the wind of change is always blowing, folks. That’s a topic that I’ve covered in this blog more times than I can count. So many, that I’m sick of it, in fact. But why? Why are so few people motivated to do their very best at everything they do? Isn’t that our charge as believers?
A lot of this goes back to impatience. We’re quick to quit because there’s no time to waste, when in fact the time will pass and we’ll get back what we invest. No investment means no return. People want what’s coming to them right now, but they don’t realize is that they’re getting just that – if you don’t patiently work and strive toward anything, then there’s nothing to get back! So they really are getting back exactly what they put in, which is absolutely nothing. No investment, no profit.
This reminds me of the story Jesus told about the prayers of the priest shouting his own praise for all to hear versus the prayers of the sinning tax collector quietly humbling himself before the Lord. If you only do things for show, then you have your reward already. It’s the seeds you sow in faith, perhaps when nobody’s looking, that really sprout a harvest.
Nobody’s going to pat you on the back for doing what you’re supposed to do. Furthermore, they may not even realize if you do go above and beyond. A lot is taken for granted in this world, and sometimes we must accept that the reward won’t come in it. Can you be OK with that? Because often, the only encouragement you’ve got is a crown in eternity and bumkus in this reality.
We as a society have become too motivated by “atta-boys” and not used to “because it’s right.” Our priorities are badly out of place, and we need to get it right if we want a life that really matters in the grand scheme of things. It may not be a glorious life, but which would you rather have: glory on Earth or glory in Eternity? It’s a choice we all make, consciously or not.
That’s all today. Take care and have a great rest of the week.