1 Corinthians 3:8 – Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his labour. (KJV)
2 Chronicles 15:7 – Be ye strong therefore and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded. (KJV)
Ruth 2:12 – The Lord recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust. (KJV)
One thing of concern when reaching middle age is that, quite often, we find we are concerned about our middles. While weight gain isn't exclusive to this stage of life, it sure seems to have a close relationship with it!
I had e-mailed a friend about an article I'd read, which had a suggestion about how to ensure that we get our ten servings a day of fruits and vegetables. It suggested wearing ten thin bracelets on one arm and moving one bracelet to the other arm each time you ate a fruit or vegetable. It seemed to be a rather innovative and attractive idea.
My friend replied that a technique that she had been taught years ago was to put an elastic band on your wrist, and give the elastic a twang each time you went to eat something you shouldn't. The snap would remind you not to continue. With all due respect, that seems like a rather negative approach to me, one that speaks of pain and punishment, no matter how minor, while the bracelets seem like a positive approach, one which rewards a good action.
It reminds me of the way in which some of us live our spiritual lives. Is our relationship with God one of negativity and perpetual fear of punishment, or is it a loving relationship, encouraging and rewarding good actions, thoughts, and deeds?
Prayer: Our loving Father, you have created us to live in harmony, and to treat you and each other with love and respect. Remind us to reward the good in each other with praise, especially when we don't feel particularly loving and respectful! In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.