ACTION-REWARD PRINCIPLE (Part 1): The principle that will solve almost all your problems or mysteries.




You may call it the action-reaction principle in Physics but here the reaction is a pleasant and good. Whatever we do in life, wherever and whoever we do it for is entirely motivated by the reward expected. Whether eating, loving going to school or church, offering a helping hand or giving offertories, preaching, volunteering, leading others, making love or even praying and all sorts of activities and sacrifices are done simply because of the reward expected. And though the reward may not be specific in all the cases, at least it points to whatever that feels good and pleasure yielding or some kind of happiness.

Blaise Pascal puts it this way, “All men seek happiness. This is without exception. Whatever different means they employ, they all tend to this end. The cause of some going to war, and of others avoiding it, is the same desire in both, attended with different views. The will never takes the least step but to this object. This is the motive of every action of every man, even of those who hang themselves”. Nelson Mandela put it this way, “everything done in this world is done by hope”. 

Yeah, you may not tell the reward exactly but if it wasn’t for that, man wouldn’t accomplish even the least task. Man will work out for his pleasure and happiness and will use any means to acquire this. There is no such thing as something for nothing; everything done has a reward attached. This is nature and there is no sin in seeking to have a reward for whatever we do unless the reward we seek isn’t right for the action or our actions don’t deserve the specific reward.

Knowing and understanding the above philosophy will tell how any action is possible depending on the strength of the reward attached. And because man’s ability to grade these rewards has been corrupted over the years, a wrong and little value is at times attached to an action of greater value. What happens is that a man fails to do the act or even maintain it simply because the motivating power in the reward speculated isn’t enough to push him through that action (for example, being motivated by money or physical beauty so as to pursue the love relationship act). Love finally breaks and wears off because the power of money or physical beauty isn’t enough to push the action of love.

That’s where the sin comes from; working for the little reward and untrue pleasure. C.S Lewis explains the point, “if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about  t child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased”

What am I saying? Stop your fear. You are not wrong by working for a reward. You may only be wrong by working for a wrong reward or expecting a certain reward yet what you do doesn’t deserve the reward. But what comes first? It’s the promise of the reward or the hope, as used by Nelson Mandela, for reward first and then action. Without this motivation to propel us, we wouldn’t do anything. And our sin is not in asking or expecting these rewards but in asking for cheap rewards.

In part 2, we shall look at the real life areas where the principle can be applied. Remember, to leave your comments so we may know what you think. Thanks

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