But much of what we love about meritocracy is fundamentally opposed to the grace of the Cross. There is none among us who can claim that we deserve what has been given to us, none who can say we have earned our reward. “For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?" (Corinthians 4:7)
Certainly, it makes sense to offer rewards in order to motivate good behavior. But to think that we deserve this reinforcement belies our witness as sheep of His flock. We become self-reliant, even prideful in our own making. We determine that we have worked hard, and then demand our reward. This is not the model of the Cross.