Current Word of the Month

March 2018: Compensation

We live in a meritocracy, a society in which people are measured by their accomplishments. Those who make an effort, show commitment, and do their work are acknowledged and compensated correspondingly for their achievements—not only materially, but also in the form of respect and prestige. Anyone who performs well also derives the right to be duly compensated for his or her achievements.

The principle of appropriate compensation also defines our conception of fairness. After all, those who accomplish nothing are left behind. Yet God does not compensate us at all! He simply gives! But isn’t that unfair?

—     Here I have been faithful to Him all my life, and yet some other person—who, like the penitent thief on the cross, comes along at literally the last second to beg for grace—is going to receive the same reward as I in the end? 

—     Here I work for the Lord day and night till I am ready to drop, and yet I will not receive anything more than the person who comes crawling back in the end with a guilty conscience—just like the prodigal son—in hopes that God will forgive him?

We are so quick to praise the grace that God grants us and even to the souls in the beyond. But let us ask ourselves: do we still begrudge this same grace to someone who has done nothing—absolutely nothing—for it? To someone who has not earned it in our view?

No human being could have that much insight and understanding, unless he or she has come to recognise: “I have not earned God’s grace either! I have accomplished nothing that God would ever have to repay. I too am completely dependent on grace!

—     God, be merciful to me a sinner!”

Food for thought from a divine service by the Chief Apostle