Why I Don’t Ask God To Reward Me When I Ask For Stuff3 min read

Tola’s Thoughts On Faith & Life

During a discussion this week, in one of the faith-based NGOs I have served in a significant leadership capacity in the past, someone was trying to encourage more people to offer themselves to serve more in key leadership roles.

To do that, she referenced a couple of “good happenings” in the lives of previous people who served in leadership and made the “one plus one = two” narrative.

God rewards you with more significant “good happenings” after you serve in a significant leadership capacity within the NGO.

It’s a WhatsApp group so she took the time to list out the “good happenings” that happened in the lives of previous volunteers.

Well, I was one of them – and she added a couple of “good happenings” that happened to me to support it.

Well, I decided to respond. I’ll reproduce my response but edit out key references to place or people (but you’ll still get the gist of what I wrote).

Whilst I agree that God rewards, I think we over-emphasize rewards when we serve.

For your information, after serving, something bad happened at work and it was primarily down to an event that happened while I was in unavailable due to my commitment while volunteering with the NGO.

But if I had it to do all over again – I would still choose to serve and bear the rap that came with it. Perhaps that was part of the marks I bore for Christ. No one knew about the bad event – only my wife did.

Our service to God is not immunity from some consequences. Actually, some consequences are the result of our service.

But does God forget our labour of love? Nope. He will reward it. How He rewards it is up to Him.

He may reward with material benefits on this side of heaven or He may keep everything to the other side of heaven.

But why do we serve?


We serve because it is our calling. it is not the expectation of boons that motivate us. It is our love for God.

We are not mercenaries who work because we expect payment. We are family members with God who work because it is our Father’s business.

Personally, I am grateful for the gifts that God has given me. But I cannot specifically tie them to my service – either in this NGO or in other places

I can only tie them to one thing – The goodness of a God who as my Father gives me more than I need at all times and has a plan for my life which I know very little about but can trust in His goodness that the story of my life will be good.

Sometimes I wonder if I am not more motivated with the expectation of rewards when I serve than the opportunity to bear the marks of the suffering of Christ.

But I think neither is greater or better – as long as we work because we are at our Father’s business.

You can actually have both in mind.

I work for my Father and trust that He will reward in His time and His way. When I ask for things, I don’t ask because of what I have just done.

I ask because I am asking my Father. And He is more concerned about me than I could ever be concerned about myself.

I don’t need to make demands or ask based on a service I gave. Because I am only serving out of a debt I have to Him.

Nothing I did or will ever do gives me a bigger right to ask for stuff from Him.

I already have the biggest right to ask – I am His child, He has adopted me as His own

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Tola Akinsulire

A married guy with a precocious son who works his (I mean me, not my son - I bet you know, right?) day job as a financial guy trying to make real estate projects have some sense to the investor. I like to talk about what I learn along the way as I live my faith in life (family, work, friendships, fellowship, community and anything else you can put here).