Gimme Da Cookies!
It has become standard operating procedure in our society today to give out awards for everything. We don’t want to bruise the fragile little ego of Johnny because someone went above and beyond and was awarded for it while Johnny just did the bare minimum in order to get by. Everyone gets a “participation” award and some teachers have been told they can’t use a red pen to mark and correct mistakes on assignments (apparently my spell checker has not yet been given the notice: I think I’m suppose to feel bad about myself).
But here is what I think. It is this mindset that is creating the fragile egos and “dumbing-down” our society. I also believe it is a contributing factor to the lack of humility and over-abundant entitlement attitude we see all around us today.
The saddest thing is this societal mindset has made its way into the religious realm and even into the church. We expect to “get something” out of our worship and service, we want things to go our way, we expect God’s unconditional forgiveness, we want to be entertained. We have forgotten that God created us to be servants, not the served! In Ecclesiastes 12:13 we read, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all.”
But what’s in it for me? Jesus would answer this question, as he often did, with another question. Does the master thank the servant because he did the things he was commanded to do? The answer, “I think not” (Luke 17:9). Then in the next verse he says, “So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, “We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.”
Now, we are not serving for nothing. In fact the reward for faithful service is the greatest reward mankind will ever know. The problem is it simply does not gel with our mortal, selfish motives. The apostle Paul tells us that athletes compete in order to receive a “perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown” (1 Corinthians 9:25).
In an interview I saw a few days ago the statement was made, “You don’t get a cookie for doing what you are supposed to do.” I wish that were still the outlook of our society and many of my brethren. The cookie only satisfies for a moment and then it’s gone (while the negative effects may linger). If we get back to the idea of servitude we will make this world and the church a better place and heaven our home.