Gospel: Luke 17:7-10
Who among you would say to your servant, coming in from the fields after plowing or tending sheep, ‘Go ahead and have your dinner’? No, you tell him, ‘Prepare my dinner. Put on your apron, and wait on me while I eat and drink. You can eat and drink afterward.’ Do you thank this servant for doing what you told him to do? I don’t think so. And therefore, when you have done all that you have been told to do, you should say, ‘We are no more than servants; we have only done our duty.’”
“We are no more than servants; we have only done our duty.”
I remember that while in grade school, whenever I scored 100% in examinations and assignments, I would always go to my grandma to collect my “reward”. This might sound self-centered but I was my grandma’s favorite grandchild out of about 15 then and it was her way of encouraging me to excel in my studies. But come to think of it, do I need to be rewarded for doing well? The culture of reward and punishment would say yes.
The Christian perspective sees otherwise, however. There is nothing wrong in striving at excellence or making every effort to succeed in performing tasks. We are in fact encouraged not to be mediocre but always aiming for perfection (cf. Mt. 5:48). But if I accomplish good things and deeds, I cannot boast of them before God and claim my reward. I simply did what I was expected to do. I should be content that I have proven to him that I am his child, good, faithful, and obedient. I do good works not to get paid, but for the Father who created me to get praised.
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