Working on Commission
Do you have a job where you work on commission? If so, you amaze me! I don’t know how people do it. Never knowing what to expect each month. Having things that are completely out of your control sometimes determine what you earn. The stress level must be high, and yet I imagine the potential compensation can be too. Especially if you excel in your field.
I am so very thankful that our Lord doesn’t operate that way. That He doesn’t reward us according to what we accomplish. Oh, we are accountable for what He calls us to do with the gifts, talents, finances, and time He has given us. Yet it’s more about our obedience and motivation than the results. This shines forth in I Corinthians 3:6-8. After chastising the church for the divisions that came from people aligning themselves with a certain teacher, Paul explains the part each plays: I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. 7 So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. (NIV)
Those who plant and those who water may never see and are not responsible for the growth that may or may not come. Yet each will be rewarded for his own labor. As the passage continues, it speaks of the way in which our deeds will be judged by the Almighty…
I Corinthians 3:10-15: By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. 14 If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. 15 If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames. (NIV)
The foundation of Christ in these verses has to do with salvation. Only those who receive His gift of eternal life will be at this judgment of works in glory. And we know his or her good deeds didn’t get them to heaven because all someone has done can be burned up (v.15) yet because the foundation is Christ, that person will escape the flames of hell (v.15).
Look again at v.13. What is being tested in this holy fire? It’s not the quantity of deeds or even what resulted from them. It’s the quality. Was it done in love (I Cor 13:1-3)? What was our motivation: God’s glory or our own (Matt 6:5-6)?
So when it comes to serving the Lord, let’s stop worrying about the things over which we have no control. May we do what He asks, in His power, for His glory, and leave the results up to Him. Remember, when it comes to our labor for the Almighty, we don’t work on commission!
Just something that lightens my load along the way.