Everyone who comes to God must believe these two things:
- That He exists
- That He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
This is truth, according to His Word, which is what we must accept if we accept that He is there to deny, to hate, to dispute, to blame, to doubt, to question, to quote, to copy, to seek, to find, or to acknowledge.
Another truth: all God-haters must admit He exists or their whole life-work has been wasted, right? Same for blamers, questioners, etc. They just miss, entirely, the BENEFITS of His existence, because they do not, also, believe that He rewards, and would joyfully reward THEM.
But He does. He would.
So, it is mandatory to reward our children; we must raise them up in the discipline of the Lord. Reward is one way He disciplines us.
“What?!” you say. “I thought discipline meant things like time-out or skipping dessert!”
While unpleasant consequences are, indeed, a valid part of discipline, God’s Word also shows us that He adds rewards to His method of discipline, which He has commanded us to use.
Why do we fear rewards? I have heard parents say, “I refuse to bribe my children to do right.”
Again, we show our ignorance, because, according to the Word of Him Who requires we do right, bribery—rewarding to do WRONG—is wrong, and rewarding to do right is right.
God’s discipline also includes praise. Consider this: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant . . . ” Or: “This is My Beloved Son, in Whom I AM well pleased . . . “ We cannot deny that He does praise us, also.
So we should praise our own. This is truth.
There is one facet of all this truth that escapes notice, though.
His Word says, “Humble yourself, therefore, under the mighty hand of God and He will exalt you in due time.”
His Word says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
As one of His most famous followers said, “He must increase; I must decrease,” and “I am not worthy even to untie His shoe . . .”
We sometimes hear someone who has received great praise saying something like, “Oh, you are setting me up for a fall!” referring to the Scripture that reads, “Pride goeth before a fall . . . “
Still we should praise and reward good jobs, wherever we see them, and especially in our children’s lives. Missing this facet of childhood has caused many adults to grow up warped, never praised, never rewarded, and also never pitied and probably never sent to the corner or switched when they needed that. Undisciplined, they grow up with no self-discipline and probably no healthy concept of God, either, since we learn those from our parents.
Many adults fail to praise or reward other adults, though, and a job well done can make a hurting person jealous. People raised wrong envy beauty, industry, discipline, etc., and often grow snarky instead of praising. We just have to forgive them.
However, it is God, not people, Who watches our ways to give us joy. Humans will praise and reward us, if that is God’s chosen pathway for our praise and rewards to come, but only in due time. He may, though, choose to use His audible voice, instead! Or, our rewards may mostly come in the next life.
But we don’t care. It is a joy to wait upon the Lord. So we patiently seek out His will and try hard to do right, for the joy of pleasing Him, and we humbly wait for that due time, when He will, most assuredly, reward us. Because He IS a rewarder.
And for the snarky-jealous? Maybe we should find some way to give them a bit of the praise they never got during childhood?