Today’s reading is drawn from 2 Corinthians 5:10.
The Scriptures teach that it is not mercenary to be motivated by reward; instead, Jesus encouraged us to long to hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness” (Matthew 25:21,23). The New Testament is replete with invitations to pursue God’s rewards, affirming that they will prove to be more than worth the cost. “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him” (James 1:12).
The fact that God will reward us for faithful responses to opportunities should have some motivational impact on the way we live. It clearly affected the manner in which godly people in Scripture led their lives. C. S. Lewis argued in his marvelous sermon “The Weight of Glory” that our problem is not that our desires are too strong, but that they are too weak. “We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” In comparison to what God wants to give us, the best this world can offer is toys, trinkets, and tinsel.