Tim Keller’s book, Generous Justice: How God's Grace Makes Us Just, helps us understand that God’s justice is much more than keeping score.
“Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done.” Revelation 22: 12-13
I have been commuting to work with two friends for over twenty years. Each fall we look at our commitments, discuss days that work best to drive, and make up a schedule: Dave on Mondays and Wednesdays, Kurt on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and me on Fridays. After a few months we change so I take two days and someone else just one. Occasionally we can’t drive due to illness, or a car in the shop. Here and there someone gets the sense he ‘owes’ so drives three days one week. But largely it all evens out.
We do this in other areas of life too, right? We expect to put in our fair share and for others to match our effort. If people don’t “pay us back”, we begin to feel resentful because the books aren’t balanced.
It gives some peace to know that God hasn’t overlooked our work. Of course he calls us to love and serve others unconditionally, yet in the end he ensures we will get our fair reward. Through John God says “My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done.” King David and the Prophet Isaiah said similar things of God’s economy.
Are you a ledger keeper? Do you keep score and find yourself grumbling about reward shortfalls? If so, give it up.
Dear God, help me not keep track of what I do, for you will square the score with your just ways. Help me serve others for your glory and to leave rewards for another day. Amen.
Do something today for someone who can’t pay you back.