As part of the usual Sunday routine, some of my girls or what I like to call my church buddies, like to dine and unwind after Sunday service to have a little catch up of how our week went. Now I request to please reserve your judgments but this is one of my motivations to actually go to church when that known is dragging me back to stay home and miss church. It was probably rooted when I was still in my home country where families normally go out and eat or yet have a little thanksgiving feast for the family. It was the first Sunday of the month and the day was going perfect plus it has been awhile since we’ve been in a buffet restaurant so we decided to feast for that day.
We stayed for over an hour just tasting each goodness presented in plates and having a good laugh about life – my kind of day. When the nice lady server came to finally give our the bills, she had a good little talk about their new loyalty program where you get one point every dollar you spent in their hotel slash restaurant which is a pretty good deal since it did not cost us any extra charge to get that.
Now, all credits to whoever created this loyalty program. It doesn’t only benefit the business but also tries to keep the customers coming back without asking for anything extra aside from anything from their products or services. Just keep paying, eventually you will get something in return. Everybody wins.
That makes me wonder if that also how it works with God or let’s be more specific, to end up in heaven. You know, if we ever earn points every good deed we do and lose one for every bad one. And if we can later on redeem the points for bigger prize. Does Christianity work like a loyalty program? If we do good, do we earn a good life? If we participate in charitable programs, can we redeem for answered prayers? If we perfect all the checklist on the ten commandments, does that entitle us a free pass Heaven.
I don’t believe so.
Most of us (including me) have grown up believing that the quality of our life depends on the good deeds that we do towards other people. Right after, we consciously or unconsciously feel that we deserve something. We sometimes even fight for it and we get mad when things do not go our way because we felt like we have given all the hard work for it. In Ephesians 2:8, it was said that God saved you by HIs grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so non of us can boast about it.
Yes, most of the moral values and nice acts are lined up with God’s teachings. Yes, He did say to do good to other people, keep his commandments and be faithful to Him but never did he say that this gets us the life we want to have in this world as if He owed something from us. God doesn’t have a good deed point or a loyalty reward system. He didn’t owe us anything but He surely has a great love for us.
It’s important to understand that whatever is happening in our life right now, it does not reflect the accumulated hard work we have given but instead, reflect His great love and His amazing plan. We may not get what ‘we’ thought we deserve, but that just means that God has a better game plan.
“So always be joyful. Never stop praying. be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18