Get Yo' Heaven Bucks! by Dr. Naima Johnston Bush
Sitting on the front row, doing my due diligence as the Principal’s wife, smiling, nodding, shaking hands and sitting through presentations on class schedules, dress codes and behavior polices – that’s how I spent my first Thursday evening in August.
As I sat listening to the teachers instruct the parents on the specifics of the discipline policy I found myself in that strange dream like place where unicorns and rainbows and “To Do” lists reside. You know that place- where you are kind of paying attention, but you are also thinking about all the things you need to do, all the things you need to remind your husband to do and pondering those life changing questions, like what really happened to the dinosaurs…
And then something that one of the teachers said brought me back from the stone age. In an effort to encourage the students to behave and limit discipline problems, the teachers were introducing an incentive program for the students. Based on a weighted scale the students would be given “Eagle Bucks” when they met the expectations of good stewardship, citizenship and the community standards. In exchange for this good behavior they could turn their “Eagle Bucks” in for various rewards. The more bucks you had, the better rewards you could purchase. In other words, if the students stayed out of trouble they would get fake money they could use to buy goodies and prizes and go on trips.
What, the what!? Ok… I mean it sounded great and all, but my first thoughts were, why are they being rewarded for doing what they should do? What happens when they get older, will they expect “Eagle Bucks” for showing up on time for their jobs? Doesn’t keeping track of all this stuff make extra work for the teachers? And after all, shouldn’t kids just do what adults say anyway?
Don’t you love moments like that? When you are pondering questions that seem to make sense to you and the Holy Spirit just drops a bomb on you to illustrate how off base you are in your thinking! In the ten seconds it took for me to scroll these thoughts through my big head the Lord had a lesson to teach me.
Why was I internally fussing about the school’s incentive program when I was on the ultimate incentive program myself? Instead of a teacher handing me “Eagle Bucks” when I did what I was suppose to do and I exhibited good behavior, Jesus was offering me “Heaven Bucks.” How do we earn these “Heaven Bucks?”
Matthew 6:33 – If I seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness good things will be given to me.
Matthew 19:29 – If I leave my home, my family or my work to do the work of Christ I will be given a hundredfold and I will inherit eternal life.
Luke 11:9 – If I ask I will receive, if I knock it will be opened, If I seek I will find.
Mark 11:24 – If I ask in prayer and I believe that I have received it, I will receive it.
John 3:16 – If I believe that God gave His son, I will not die, but I will have eternal life.
These are just a few of the promises of the Lord that are available to us if we do what we are suppose to do to earn our “Heaven Bucks.” Seeking the Lord, believing what He says, loving others, serving others, working for His glory, spending time in prayer, committing our lives to Him and most importantly, the promises of eternal life… what beautiful incentives these are!
Who wouldn’t want to follow a God who gives such good and perfect gifts?