Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Temptation of Self Rewarding

So I've been pondering today about this tendency to want to reward myself. Unfortunately, this is how I usually want to respond when I feel like there's been a victory in an area of my life. Just a little example of a victory as vaguely as I can put it, there were some great steps I took yesterday with how I interacted with my kids. So when the day was over, I initially was saying thanks to God for helping me be a better mom, and helping me take those little steps forward toward my goal that he has set before me so clearly over the past week, because it was the Holy Spirit giving me the "want to" in that area. I wouldn't have ever done that stuff with my kids in my flesh.
But here's the kicker: After I've thanked God for a victorious day, I begin to want to tell others right after only one good day. It hit me today that that probably is really the flesh wanting to shout it out, because in the end, I want a pat on the back for a job well done. And in the end, God gets very little glory for that. Therefore, I'm not giving God a chance to keep working on me. Because after that victory is passed and I've told everyone under the sun what a good day I had, I feel like I owe myself something, hence "self-rewarding". And what I go to, to do that, is usually a nice big fat fountain coke, or a dessert, or a break the next day from giving my kids the same discipline they got the day before (because that's easier to do in the present). My flesh is then happy again, then I'm back to square one again, feeling like a failure. Hello!!! I'm not even giving God a chance to keep working with me. I can just see Him telling me, "It's not time for a celebration with others quite yet! That will come! But we still have work to do, many more steps to walk." "Abide in me continually, talk to me about your "good deeds" in secret and watch me pour myself out on you in a way that you can't imagine. And others will just see it without you even uttering a word. And then they will know the Holy Spirit is workng in you. Therefore, the flesh has no place there." It's been resonating in my mind all day, and I just had to share.
It is a good thing to rejoice with others about God moments. There are many verses in scripture that back it up, but what are your motives. To give God all the glory, or just some of it. Because we will give ourselves the other half of the glory if we aren't careful. And that's when the sin cycle continues.

God Bless!

5 comments:

The Engelhardt 4 said...

Holy Cow girl, you just hit the nail right on the head with me. Thanks. I needed to read that today. Have a blessed day and keep up your good work.

More Than Conquerors said...

:) I love my wife...

Bethany said...

These were so encouraging to read. I've felt a bit attacked today after posting all of that last night.

Beth said...

Wow, Bethany. Good stuff. Thanks for sharing this. It's humbling and true. I've done the same thing...

Mod Girl said...

Wow, this is great. Very thought provoking. I, too, am very tempted to self-reward... to boast of my own flesh, not boast in the Lord. What pride is present in my life, what need for refinement.