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Topic: Reward (09/27/04)
TITLE: REWARD AND/OR PUNISHMENT
By Phyllis Inniss
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In education there is always a problem about reward and punishment for children. While it is sound practice to reward students for good effort and outstanding work, it is not always a good thing to punish them for failing. There are so many reasons why students fail in their work that punishment might just reinforce some of the very problems that need to be eradicated.
Reward, on the other hand, has an uplifting effect on its recipient and can produce many satisfying experiences for him/her. However, there are times when reward may not be in a person’s best interest. For instance, a person who receives a prize or praise through someone else’s effort can hardly feel the satisfaction that would have come to him/her if the achievement had been an honest one.
There is also the fact that there are people who are paid large sums of money for carrying out nefarious acts, enabling them to live in luxurious style. Some have lavished on them exorbitant gifts not commensurate with their skills and training but to compensate for the risks involved in doing something illegal. We need to remember Proverbs 11:18 “A wicked man earns deceptive wages, but one who sows righteousness gets a sure reward.” And in Isaiah 13:11 “I will punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for its iniquity.”
As Christians we look to Jesus for our reward. Colossians 3:23/24 says “Whatever your task, work heartily, as serving the Lord and not men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward.” And whenever we are punished or afflicted, we must “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him.” Ps. 37;7. We see also when Joseph’s brothers sold him into Egypt out of jealousy, God was with him and rescued him out of all his afflictions. Joseph’s reward was great as God made him lord of all Pharaoh’s house and ruler over all the land of Egypt.
I know that my just reward is in heaven where Christ is. However, I am enjoying my reward here on earth as I communicate with the Faith Writers family. I thank God for directing me to this Christian community to share the faith and spread the good news. I was especially touched when one of our writers e-mailed me to thank me for my comments on his work and told me that two of my articles “Love’s Labour’s Lost?” and “Faith Keeps Us Alive” had special meaning for him. He explained in his letter why he said this, but I was reminded of what my cousin’s wife said to me on a recent visit to Trinidad. She thought I was doing a very good job being on the Faith Writers web site and spreading the word. Thank you Faith Writers and thank you God.
Quotations taken from the Revised Standard Version