Do you expect to be rewarded for your faith in this life?


#1

Hi everyone! So, I've been away for a while, lurking on/off, but haven't posted in a while (indeed, the forum software reminded me of that when I logged in today!)

Anyway, I've noticed some posts where people seem to be angry at the Church, or even God Himself, due to their current circumstances in life, and often take temporal suffering as a sign that the Church is wrong, such as, many who think NFP is difficult so the Church must be wrong about it. Or, people who expect temporal rewards for following the Church's teachings, such as a recent poster who considered giving up own virginity because he couldn't guarantee that his future wife would be a virgin.

Now, I'm pretty sure people who post here aren't as wordly as those who follow the so-called prosperity gospel -- I was recently flipping through TV channels and came across a televangelist who seemed to be preaching this version of the gospel, who actually led his flock in a chant of "God, give me more stuff!" :eek: Yet, it does seem that there is a tendency among many of us to expect some kind of temporal reward for good behavior, and see God as unfair if that doesn't occur. And, of course, many cynics would suggest that most religious people are motivated more by a fear of hell or a love of the rewards in heaven, not an actual love of God.

So, I was just wondering what people around here thought about this.


#2

Personally I view our faith itself as our reward in this life as I brings us together and helps us cope with what life throws at us. Not just cope with life but celebrate and appreciate it.

Too many people view faith as a "the more you do the more you get" which is absolutely crazy! Anybody in it for the rewards rather thena love of God himself is a little misguided.

Just my two cents!


#3

Since coming to faith, I have been rewarded with an ever increasing level of spiritual peace. And, Jesus gives us peace not as the world gives peace. Increased wealth and physical comfort is how the world gives peace, but those with physical security have no peace in their spirits, as they must constantly protect what they have. A bad economy has stripped many of them of what they falsely believed security to be. True peace in your spirit cannot be bought without paying the price of denying yourself, taking up your cross and following our Lord. The “gospel of prosperity” that you heard someone preaching is certainly counter-biblical and is a very recent phenomenon that has sprung up in America - as have many other inventions, both in faith as well as in the secular world.

While we who love Christ look forward to the perfection of the next life, this life certainly has its benefits. The multiplication of love which comes from a relationship with the source of love is one part of it. Trust in Him provides what this world cannot offer, which is peace in your spirit. Healing and relief from our physical ailments may also be provided, according to God’s will, but if not, then we simply add them to the weight of the cross that we bear. The Lord strengthens us each time our cross’ weight is increased. I have been threatened with death by cancer twice in the past three years. I remain in treatment, and probably will for as long as I live, but remain more filled with hope and joy than I was before all of this came my way.

It all boils down to how you define “reward”. Once you come to faith and belief, the concept is completely redefined.


#4

[quote="ToeInTheWater, post:1, topic:241505"]
Hi everyone! So, I've been away for a while, lurking on/off, but haven't posted in a while (indeed, the forum software reminded me of that when I logged in today!)

Anyway, I've noticed some posts where people seem to be angry at the Church, or even God Himself, due to their current circumstances in life, and often take temporal suffering as a sign that the Church is wrong, such as, many who think NFP is difficult so the Church must be wrong about it. Or, people who expect temporal rewards for following the Church's teachings, such as a recent poster who considered giving up own virginity because he couldn't guarantee that his future wife would be a virgin.

Now, I'm pretty sure people who post here aren't as wordly as those who follow the so-called prosperity gospel -- I was recently flipping through TV channels and came across a televangelist who seemed to be preaching this version of the gospel, who actually led his flock in a chant of "God, give me more stuff!" :eek: Yet, it does seem that there is a tendency among many of us to expect some kind of temporal reward for good behavior, and see God as unfair if that doesn't occur. And, of course, many cynics would suggest that most religious people are motivated more by a fear of hell or a love of the rewards in heaven, not an actual love of God.

So, I was just wondering what people around here thought about this.

[/quote]

Not at all. I expect the opposite, since this world belongs to Satan. I do not expect the world around me to understand or support my faith in God in any way. I mean, outside of other Christians and especially Catholics, from whom I can expect support.

I do what I do out of love for God and trust in His Word and Jesus' sacrifice for me on the cross. That's it, there's no payoff on this earth. And if I somehow make it to purgatory, my life will have been successful.

Those prosperity churches drive me :whacky:


#5

If we actually got what we deserved, we'd all be pretty. darn. miserable.

So, my answer is most emphatically, no. Whatever blessings we receive from God are due to the greatness of His love for us, rather than what we've "merited".


#6

If I were to answer this question with my head, I'd say that the suffering in the world is due to our fall, and that suffering can be used for great good and we should embrace all hardship and offer it for the salvation of sinners and for the remission of punishment due to sins. I do believe this.

However, if I were to answer based on how I feel at any given moment, in the midst of a struggle, I'd probably complain a lot and ask why God is being so mean to me.:D

Okay, maybe not so much.

I must say, though, that I have grown in my beliefs over the last few years, and I'm a very different person now to who I used to be, even though I've always been a fully committed Catholic. Two things have changed for me; first, I have learned much, much more than I knew before (I knew the main points but not why, and not many of the details), and second, I have started to really live my faith as though it were the most important thing. The second thing stems from the first.

Over time my focus has shifted from temporal goals to the ultimate goal of attaining Heaven. When any struggle is viewed with this goal in mind, it is much easier to see how it can be borne for a greater good. I believe we can ask God for relief, but we should make the most of any suffering we may encounter.

Says me.:thumbsup:


#7

This is a great question.

I agree with the poster who said that we know not to expect reward in this life but in reality do get angry with God when things are rough and see it as punishment for something, or as God being cruel. It is an easy trap to fall into. I was very angry with God at one difficult point in my life and couldn't understand why he wouldn't sort things out for me. it took me a while to clearly see that He sent wonderful people my way who helped me out in different ways.

I like to think that I am more mature now and hopefully trust Him more. I don't expect easy sailing in life but rely on God to help me when things get tough. The sense of peace that is with me is the best reward I can imagine.


#8

nope, I expect to be persecuted, and if I am not, wonder what I am doing wrong. Maybe the discussion should be engaged on non-catholic religions since the attitude certainly has no place in Catholic family life and I can think of nothing more guaranteed to destroy families than promoting such an attitude.


#9

Definitely not. I have found that since returning to my faith that temptations are worse and That my life is falling apart. But I am no longer depressed.


#10

I think I am one of the few people who totally gets this.

:wink:


#11

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