Rewarded in Tribulation

“Our reward will be greater if we remain faithful in tribulations.”

That was the topic of our Sunday School discussion. I agree….mostly, but not completely.

What if someone doesn’t have a lot of tribulations in their life? Will their eternal reward be less? Is tribulations essential in order to receive an eternal reward? What does “eternal reward” mean anyway? Does that mean we all receive an eternal reward but some of us get more because we were not only faithful but we were also faith in tribulations.

Okay, here’s the part I agree with. Someone who is kind to their children after having a great day at work is a good thing. Someone who is kind to their children after having a really bad day at work, well, that takes a lot more moral integrity. So I agree that some actions and choices under challenging circumstances reveals ones true character.

But what if someone lives a good and honorable life full of moral courage and integrity and they have relatively less tribulations than another person who lives a good and honorable life full of moral courage and integrity who passed through a lot of tribulations. Should the one with more tribulations be greater? I don’t know.

But let’s suppose that you are currently in the middle of some significant tribulation in your life and you believe that if you remain faithful you will be rewarded. This may help motivate you to act with moral courage and respond to your challenge in an honorable way. But this might also work against you by motivating your to focus more on the reward and less on the best way to respond to your situation. When our focus is the reward we stop release ourselves from the responsibility of being an actor in using our moral judgment as to what we honestly feel it is there most right thing.

When we are faced with tough decisions that arise from our tribulations, if we make the decision to press forward because we believe that we will receive and earn a greater reward, then I think that motive clouds our ability to honestly discern what is the most right thing to do in that situation. I don’t think that’s the most honest motive to move forward, it lacks integrity.

Religious individuals who believe that their actions will be greatly rewarded because their sacrifice was so great, seem to choose their action because of the reward and bypass choosing their action based on their integrity and based on their moral judgement. They are doing it for the sake of the reward and not for the sake of it being right.