Our son got a manners book the other day. What is a manners book, you ask? It has a chart that reminds you to say please, thank you, sorry, goodbye, etc, by placing a sticker on the chart every time you display good manners.
As Grandma and Grandpa were leaving yesterday, he seemed all too eager to say "Goodbye" to them. After saying goodbye, he quickly rushed to his book, and place the 'Goodbye' sticker on the chart. He also 'accidentally' knocked over his little sister, and was unusually quick to apologize. Within seconds the 'Sorry' sticker appeared on the chart. He is quite proud of his manners, and even more proud of his chart.
As I was thinking this morning, I realized that in some ways I have 'manners/stickers' theology. I often think that by doing things, God will give me some sort of recognition. Having my devotions surely equals a sticker on my chart. If I do some sort of sacrificial act of kindness, hey, I get another sticker. God surely HAS to look at my chart and be thoroughly impressed. Right?
What struck me this morning is that while the sticker-chart may show some good decisions our son has made, it doesn't reveal the heart. My 'stickers' are much the same way. They may reveal something good about my life, but I may have sinful motivation for getting my stickers.
God help us to not be motivated by 'stickers' but to love God with all our heart and our neighbor as ourselves!