Undeserved Rewards



” Here, Mason.”

*crunch *crunch *crunch

“Amber?” I question from my post at the kitchen counter,” Why are you feeding Mason those treats? You shouldn’t just give him treats unless he did something first.”

” He did already,” Amber defended.” The other day I told him to sit and he did and I didn’t have any treats in my hand. When I gave him a treat then, he laid down. ”

Okay, but how does (very) obediently coming into the entry from outside earn him a treat? I wonder.

” From now on, Amber don’t just hand out a treat for no reason, okay?” It doesn’t seem right to reward a fat, old dog for blocking the entry door. Then again, he does get up and move if we aren’t trying to force him back outside. Whatever.

Amber returns to the entry and I resume my kitchen duties.


*crunch *crunch *crunch

” Amber?! He’s had enough!” I call from the kitchen trying to ‘save’ the treats for a more noble command, a greater accomplishment.

*crunch *crunch *crunch

” Well, he’s already eating this one but that’s all for now,” Amber replies as she returns the box of treats to their place in the closet and goes outside leaving Mason indoors to savor the rewards of his obedience.

Mason didn’t really do anything to earn a treat; he sat mainly because there was that little bone dangling before his nose.  Could Mason ‘earn’ his treats by doing something anymore? I doubt it. He’s too old and fat to learn anything new; therefore, he benefits from the generosity of my siblings and will continue sitting on command when there’s a treat involved.

Now if we take this situation and apply it to us humans, how many of us are like the dog wanting the reward without the work or doing the work just for the reward?

Sometimes we are asked or will be asked to do something with no known reward. How will you respond? Will you do it anyway?

Often it’s the most difficult things in life that have the biggest rewards. For example, assisting a screaming dementia resident to bed while dodging the fists, but then once they are all tucked in and safely in bed they quietly say ” Thank you” before dozing off to sleep. When a ‘thank you’ is  least expected, it’s twice as rewarding.

Maybe it’s been a tough day with a difficult child but at the end of the day they slip you a sweet note, give you a big grin, or say ” I love you” and suddenly you feel God reassuring you that you’re doing okay and the battle is worth fighting.

Are rewards as appreciated or rewarding without hard work, long hours, sweat and tears, or challenging situations? Embrace todays challenges and remember that the privilege to serve and live for God each day should be reward enough.


What’s been the greatest reward you’ve received and what led up to it? Share your experiences in the comments 🙂




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