Recently I came across this story that got me thinking: There once was a good king and one day, one of his subjects, a gardener, came into his courts. He brought with him a huge carrot. He presented the carrot to the king saying, “O king, this is the greatest carrot I have ever grown and I want to give it to you as a token of my love and affection!” The king smiled and discerned that the gardener was genuine. He said to the gardener, “Because I can see that you are a skillful gardener, and would be a great service to me, I am giving you the much larger land next to your garden to farm!”
Meanwhile, a horse breeder, noticing the king’s generosity, came the next day bringing one of his horses. “O king, this is the strongest and best horse I’ve ever raised and I want to give him to you as a token of my great esteem!” The king, wising up to what was happening, simply took the gift from the man. On turning to leave, the king was interrupted by the breeder who said, “O king, but what about the favour you had on the gardener?” The king turning to look at the man said, “Ah yes, that gardener gave his carrot to me, but you have given this horse to yourself!”
Some say that doing good things makes you a good Christian, but is that really true? Surely the crucial distinction is one of our inner motives. Here’s the rub: either we do good to get things from God or because we want to please God, to resemble God and essentially to get God. I wonder of which type we are?