Today at work, I found out that I qualified for an incentive bonus during the past year. My paycheck tomorrow will be $305.51 bigger as a result.
The incentive bonus program was announced last January when we found out our company was issuing a salary freeze because of broader economic concerns. The owners decided to be conservative to preserve the integrity of the company. But if the risk paid off and there were profits at the end of the year, they agreed to share them with the employees.
If we earned it.
So all year, we have been incentivized to arrive to work on time, to keep our unplanned absences to a minimum, to offer money-saving ideas to our supervisors, to print on both sides of the paper. Keeping costs low would mean more bonus money at the end of the year.
For many employees at my company, the effort paid off.
In this season of Advent, when we are focused on the comings of Jesus, sometimes, it helps to remember the incentive Jesus offered. Just before his death, burial, and resurrection, Jesus told his disciples that he would be leaving them, that they would be expected to wait around until his return.
But he also told them that it would be worth it.
Unlike my employer’s incentive, Jesus wasn’t concerned that his disciples would earn their way to eternal life. He knew the cost, and he was willing to pay it. He did require their faithfulness, though. And he knew even in that they would need some incentive.
Do not let your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way where I am going. – John 14:1-4

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