On which side of the issue do you stand regarding giving an allowance to kids? How did your parents do this when you were growing up?
Some say that you should not give your kids an allowance, teaching them that taking out the trash is part of life. It’s not something to get paid for.
Others say that you should give your kids an allowance, so that they learn to connect hard work with money. It develops a strong work ethic for the future.
Either way, there is a shared concern. An allowance must not be wages earned. Not a salary paid to an employee. Instead, an allowance must be a reward given to a child.
This is similar to our reward from God, according to Jesus.
“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.
“But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you” (Matthew 6:1-4).
Like kids shouldn’t take out the trash motivated mostly by the desire for money, Christians shouldn’t pray and do good works motivated mostly by the desire for praise from others.
Instead, we are motivated by our love for our Father in heaven. He sees. He watches. He smiles and appreciates. He rewards, and much better than any people might reward us by being impressed.
I like to call this our Audience of One. God our Father in heaven. Do everything for him and about him, and it will then always be good for others, too.
How do you do this better? Start in prayer. Commit to quiet, focused time together just between you and God. Learn what it’s like to have God’s one-on-one attention and for him to have yours. Then, you will learn to better seek his praise. And for it to satisfy you like nothing else.
PRAYER: Dear Father in heaven, you see all things. Yet you say that you don’t notice my sins, while you do notice my good thoughts, words and actions. Thank you for your mercy. May it motivate me to see you more, and serve you in everything I do. Amen.
FURTHER MEDITATION: Today, Pastor Mike talks about our eagerness for praise, and how that works in everyday life. Watch his teaching video https://youtu.be/jSrEGihrquA.