Rewards and recognition for what matters most
As I sat in my son’s end-of-year school awards ceremony, I was impressed by the accomplishments of his peers. Whether earning straight A’s through all three years of middle school or competing in a state-wide spelling bee championship, these kids accomplished some remarkable feats. I was also comforted seeing how some of his friends received recognition for their accomplishments.
Shortly after, the teacher who runs First Priority in his school presented my son with an award for consistent participation and leadership for his three years at the club. He went up gleaming, and as proud parents; we took selfies with him.
The evening continued by honoring more students with varying accolades. Then the ceremony ended with a final distinguished award for a young man who accomplished the seemingly impossible. Not only did he earn A’s through all of middle school, but he was also a polished musician and athlete, and he did this all while maintaining the highest GPA of all students for all three years.
Afterward, my son wanted to hastily retreat home and bypass talking with friends or taking pictures. When I asked why, he dismissed it as tired. However, when pressed, he stated that he didn’t think his award had as much significance and that we were making a bigger deal of it than it deserved.
Upon hearing this, I reminded him that although recognition for hard work and achievements is good, it doesn’t compare to earning Kingdom treasures. I also reminded him how the teacher highlighted his leadership and boldness to constantly invite new members to the club, regardless of their religious background.
As I focused on the award in his hand, I told him he was sowing and that, hopefully, he would see the fruit of that investment one day. I ended our conversation by telling him to embrace the recognition and remind himself to trust in what God had called him to do. After that talk, he smiled, took photos, spoke with friends, and called it a night.
What a reminder for us all that although recognition for hard work is rewarding, we should never find our identity in those perishable trophies. Instead, we should be Kingdom-focused, anchoring our identity in who God says we are: godly warriors on a mission to show others Christ’s, sacrificial love. When we do, God promises rewards and recognition beyond what we could imagine.
Answer and Journal the Following
So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. 9 For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.
First pray for insight and focus for setting your sight on Kingdom treasures.
Contemplate and meditate on this passage. How will yo start to invest in storing up Kingdom treasures?
Show and Share:
How will you study and apply this Biblical truth to your life? List some practical ways and steps to start today.