What Is Your Character?

18 Jan

“Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you.”  ~ Unknown

Reciprocity.  That appears to be the foundation of most relationships.  Reciprocity.  The practice of exchanging things with one another for mutual benefit.  “I will give you this if you give me that.  If you do not have that to give, I will withhold this.”  We see that principle in place among children when they first begin to play with one another.  If someone shares a toy, that someone had better get a toy in return.  We see reciprocity take place in school.  I’ll do your homework if you do something for me.  We see it take place in the business world and the world of politics.

We even see the idea of reciprocity in the way people relate to God.  I have heard many times people say that they have prayed for something, they have sacrificed for something, they have done good works in order to gain some kind of favor from God.  However, God does not work that way.  Come to think of it, neither should we.

When we engage in the belief that someone should receive from us only if we receive from them, we are not doing God’s will.  Did Jesus not instruct us to give to those who cannot give back?  Did Jesus not instruct us to care for those who have nothing?  We should not give to others with strings attached.  That negates the very reason for our giving.  As a matter of fact, Jesus would say, at one point in the Gospel, “they already have their reward.”

We should not be working for earthly reward.  We should be more concerned about a heavenly reward.  Jesus told us that, if we do for others without regard for recompense here on earth, our reward in heaven would be great.  Isn’t that what we truly want?

All the reward in the world cannot satisfy the soul.  All the reward in the world cannot purchase us a place in heaven.  All the reward in the world is nothing but material, earthly gain.  That perishes.  Work for the reward that is eternal.

In order to achieve that reward from God, give to others, do for others, without thought of repayment.  Be generous with your time, talent, and treasures.  Help the person who needs help.  Instruct the person who needs guidance.  Give to the one who is without.  Do not worry about or expect any return.  Just be satisfied in the knowledge that you are doing what your Heavenly Father wants you to do.

FAITH ACTION:  Without regard for reward, be kind to all you encounter today.