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Controversial and Thought-Provoking Articles for the Savvy Christian

Lust for Rewards: My “Cocaine” Habit

Posted By Denise Miller Holmes on Monday

Savvy Article #0918

Poor, sad, drooly Pavlov’s dog. He lusted for rewards. All you had to do was ring a bell and the poor boy’s body called forth all manner of physical reaction, and his brain focused entirely on the next bite of food.

Didn’t that dog know his reward comes from God, not from food? Didn’t he understand, like Moses, that God rewards us when we obey, not man?

I have been Pavlov’s dog. Drool all over myself. Worse, I have been that mouse who hits the bar in his cage over and over to get a single hit of cocaine.

My cocaine? The hits, the readership, I get for my articles. God knows I don’t live for the pay.

Yes, I lived for hits until God knocked me sideways with a two-way slam. First, in the last two weeks, horror of horrors, the hit-report page at the Examiner has been malfunctioning!  AAAHHHHH…..! So scary, you’d think I was watching Children of the Corn.

And then, as if that wasn’t painful enough, God sent me two missives of confrontation.

The first pain-producing communication was the Words for the Journey Devotional. This week’s devotion, written by the glorious Sharen Watson, slapped me on the forehead Sunday morning. Her main point? Writers use their gift to honor God in an act of worship.

Toolin’ on over to my friend’s, Jo’s, blog, the topic expanded to who are you working for? In a post entitled Word Study Wednesday: Work, she concludes:

“. . . , it’s considered an act of worship when I write for the Lord’s glory and not for mine. It doesn’t matter if zero people read my blog postings or if I ever become a published author, as long as I’m obedient to Him.” (italics mine)

What is wrong with God? Doesn’t He know He needs to let this go?

It is clear from Scripture that not only does God reward those who seek Him (Hebrews 11: 6) but that in order to get God’s reward, we are sometimes called to displease others. Here’s a condensed version of Hebrews 11:23-25:

“By faith Moses . . . refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; choosing rather to endure ill-treatment . . . considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward.”  (NASB, bold mine)

I have to get my head wrapped around this. I purpose right now to focus on what God wants me to write and leave all results to Him. My writing is an act of worship. My reward, whatever it may be, comes from Him.

Please pray with me the prayer below, written by Sharen Watson. Insert any occupation you wish where it says “write.”

“Father, may we do, speak, and write all for YOU. YOU alone! All in worship to honor YOU alone. . . . It’s all for YOU. ALL for You. In the Name above all names we pray, Jesus… Amen.”

I have to go now. I need to wash a lot of Pavlov-induced drool off myself.

For further Scripture reading, see Colossians 3:23-24

About The Author

Denise Miller Holmes
Denise Miller Holmes enjoys teaching biblical topics, and especially researching and communicating what Christians believe about the world around them. She sometimes turns established viewpoints on end. A graduate of the University of Southern California School of Journalism, Denise also has a Masters degree in Counseling Psychology, and has been a Christian for over 35 years. She belongs to the writers’ groups Words for the Journey and American Christian Fiction Writers.


7 Responses to “Lust for Rewards: My “Cocaine” Habit”

  1. Joanna says:

    Great post, Denise! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Jan Parrish says:

    Wow. Don’t you love it when your socked right between the eyes? Great article Denise.

  3. Mark says:

    Very well written, Denise. Inspired and from the heart. I’ll pray with you..

  4. Dena Netherton says:

    Really appreciated what you said in your blog about Pavlov’s dog and the salivation. I, too, yearn to get my words out. But if nothing ever “comes of it” I still know that this act of writing is my act of worship. Writing is first about my vertical relationship with God, resulting (I hope) in a horizontal relationship wth readers. As 1 Cor. 3:6,7 says, “I planted the seed, Apollos watered, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.”

  5. Denise Miller Holmes says:

    Jo: thank you. Jan: Yes, I feel loved when he hits me between the eyes. Mark: thanks for praying with me. And Dena: I like your choice of Scripture. Adds to the discussion.

  6. Robbie Iobst says:

    You can write girl! And inspire!!!

  7. [...] like most people, like my short-term hits of happiness (See Lust For Rewards: My “Cocaine” Habit). Apparently, ultimately, becoming like Christ makes us happy (lacking in nothing). And [...]

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