Earnings, Wages, and Rewards

Earnings are that which is earned; that which is gained or merited by labor, services or performance; wages; reward.Webster’s American Dictionary. Synonyms for earnings include: gain(s), income, proceeds, profit, return, revenue, yield.—Merriam-Webster Dictionary
  To earn is to render an equivalent in labor or service for (wages), hence, to obtain or deserve (money, praise, any advantage) as the reward of labor; to gain a position through hard work and the accumulation of experience, often in the face of difficulties, in a wider sense, to deserve. A wage is a pledge or security, a payment for service rendered, a reward, recompense; a fitting return. A reward is a return or recompense made to, or received by a person for some favor, service or merit, or for hardship endured; something given or received in recompense for worthy behavior or in retribution for evil acts.Oxford English Dictionary
  Earnings, wages and rewards are all effects, as under the law of cause and effect, reactions under the law of action and reaction. Thus, they are all results of acts under the laws of doing.

Edna Lister on Earnings, Wages, and Rewards

You must earn a promotion before you can receive it. Steadfast effort is the only road to promotion and advancement. You prove yourself by carrying more of the load where you serve, by accepting more responsibility in your present place, by giving twice as much as they pay you for doing.—Edna Lister, "Promotions," Let’s Fly, 1933.

Last year’s best is not good enough for this year’s struggle. You must earn this year’s success this year and that takes persistent effort in finding the good instead of pursuing the worst.—Edna Lister, "The Virtue Hunt," Let’s Fly, 1933.

Until you let go of possessions as belonging to you, you must toil and earn by the sweat of your brow (Genesis 3:19). When you accept this as the truth, then the law of "all these things shall be added unto you" (Matthew 6:33) supercedes it.—Edna Lister, notes to herself, 1934.

"Do not steal."—Luke 18:20 means that you dare not take without having earned, or you pay. You must earn everything, and you receive through giving.—Edna Lister, Recognizing Your Good, April 22, 1934.

Nothing is hidden from him who has earned the right to know, who has stood under the Light and lifted. Since he has the all-seeing eye, nothing can be hidden from him who has earned to right to know.—Edna Lister, Eightfold Path of Buddha, January 19, 1935.

If it pays you spiritual dividends, then pursue it. If not, reject it.—Edna Lister, February 15, 1936.

Hold fast to what you have earned, and let no darkness or self block your full soul vision and illumination.—Edna Lister, August 19, 1938.

You must earn your initiations into higher degrees of soul ascension.—Edna Lister, September 2, 1938.

Allow no one of earth to disturb your long sought gains, hard earned crowns, or hard earned positions. Keep, hold, treasure and add to what you have earned.
  Loyalty, discrimination and full desire for ultimate truth bring your rewards. You must hold, treasure and add to what you have earned. God will fulfill all promises according to your expression of law in staunch faith.—Edna Lister, October 1, 1938.

You know as much law as you have earned by becoming it.—Edna Lister, October 21, 1938.

The reward will go to the faithful few, the promises will accrue to those who have withstood all temptation through the darkness of night.—Edna Lister, October 30, 1938.

Remember, recall, keep in mind ever what you have earned through deep sacrifice of self. Allow no self-thought to creep in and take it from you.—Edna Lister, October 31, 1938.

Many wish for God to provide everything, to feed them and button them into the clothes He provides. Yet each must "Seek first the kingdom" for His gifts of substance, life, and love’s power, which are at your command to release through praise in prayer, though available at no other price.
  Have no dealings with any kind or sort of gossip. There is no such thing as harmless gossip. All such is harmful. At the very least it is idle words, and at the worst it destroys what you have created. Speak no more of darkness. Speak only and always of the Light. See ever to reach higher and remain close to the heart of God.
  Law permits gifts only when earned through travail and sorrow, through carrying the cross of self and assuming full responsibility for all gains and losses of and by the self.—Edna Lister, November 6, 1938.

At times, you are granted a higher place, not because you have earned it though work, but as a reward for standing strongly in faith amidst the jeers, scorn and scoffing of those of lesser intelligence.—Edna Lister, November 21, 1938.

If you give the equivalent of twelve years’ work in two hours, you have much reward coming. Earthly gains balance what you earn in heavenly gains; the equivalent is in the outer world. That is the law and it must fulfill itself.
  What you force, you must pay for. You cannot go to heaven on pyramided stock [or other legal though amoral financial schemes]. Law will take it from you because, for those who walk the Via Christa, earning it in money is forcing, not service. You pay your debt on earth in money, tears and heartaches, yet even while paying, you are laying up a heavenly store to pay dividends later.—Edna Lister, November 24, 1938.

Some, who have disobeyed law with doubts and wayward gossip, will say, "You cannot keep me out." While no one can keep them out of any place they have earned, or any Light in which they may stand now, the Gates of Light to higher ascension are closed until they earn the right to climb again, step by step. This is the meaning of earning by the "sweat of thy brow" when the Gates are closed against disobedience.—Edna Lister, December 16, 1938.

Closed doors are the full reward to those who misuse Power or practice trickery.
  Because "The wages of sin is death."—Romans 6:23, you must pay tribute to the One God for wages of life and Light, and none at all as tribute to darkness, lest you earn its wages.—Edna Lister, December 26, 1938.

"Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine."—Matthew 7:6. He who persists in divulging the pearls of hidden wisdom earned by faithful sacrifice will lose all memory of these truths. When he goes out into the world, no memory will remain to give to those who have not so earned.
  The chronological age of soul places the worthy and unworthy in positions of power, high places that they must then earn to hold them. You receive nothing you have not earned.
  Only those who are pure in heart and have clean hands can stand the release of great Power, which is how God divides "the sheep from the goats," and places everyone in their earned positions.—Edna Lister, January 2, 1939.

Appreciation comes from earning; you can lose place and position because of lukewarmness.—Edna Lister, January 13, 1939.

Inertia is the reward of darkness. It has no other.—Edna Lister, February 3, 1939.

Nothing comes except from earning. No reward of heaven may be forced to earth. Many think to pull rewards down by force of personal desire, but all they receive is the delusion of their own conceits.
  You cannot force any heavenly reward to earth. Many try, but all they receive is the delusion of their own conceits.—Edna Lister, March 30, 1939.

Let devotion in praise be your perfect reward. Neither expect nor ask outer rewards, lest a little worldly praise be your only reward of merit. Let the Father’s everlasting words of glory be your only reward, the right way of true joy. Let this be your "whole law." Let your praise ascend to the Most High, and let your full rewards come from Him alone.—Edna Lister, October 12, 1939.

Let nothing push you from any height you have climbed, earned and gained. This glory is your most precious possession, and not even God can take it from you, if you value it. Once you earn, He gives and you receive and accept; hold it fast.—Edna Lister, November 10, 1939.

You have been given much in advance of your earnings. At that hour when Light closes the Gates of Heaven, your place shall be upon whatever pinnacle of love and Light you stand, fully earned or given as a gift. If you descend in a moment of doubt, you will be closed out, although you may have fulfilled all initiations for your place. Whatever the point you stand on in that hour, high or low, it will be your point from which to advance.—Edna Lister, November 30, 1939.

All good things come from above, yet only by earning through love, praise and joy, not on demand.—Edna Lister, November 3, 1940.

Great outer rewards come to all who shall dare to stand the tests by fire.—Edna Lister, November 27, 1940.

All must pay the wages of sin, now or in the future.—Edna Lister, A Design for Ascension, 1941.

You earn your full living soul through sacrifice, accepting responsibility and conquering self.
  God cannot set aside law or withhold credits earned by His Sons and Daughters; He is incapable of such dishonor.—Edna Lister, A Design for Ascension, 1941.

You show appreciation of what you have earned by continued seeking, effort, earnest study and holding your torch high to light the way for earth’s younger ones.—Edna Lister, February 18, 1941.

No position can be yours until you have achieved and earned it. Nothing of earth can be withheld from you, once you have earned it.—Edna Lister, February 25, 1941.

Although God’s desire is for our ease and comfort, we may have it only by earning it as a Creator-servant. The path of earning and advance is the same for prince or pauper, descended creator god or creature climbing up for the first time.—Edna Lister, April 1, 1941.

Initiation provides opportunities for law to challenge everything you say or do, and you must prove yourself trustworthy for the advances you have already earned.—Edna Lister, May 6, 1941.

Those who hold themselves aloof from spiritual work cannot receive the same rich inner rewards we earn for standing without understanding "why," for accepting each step as necessary, or share our deep joy of knowing that we have won.—Edna Lister, November 11, 1941.

You could often earn promotion by maintaining golden silence under trying conditions.
  You prevent o’ershadowing if you allow a trace of self-mindfulness, of taking credit or reward for service. Any hint of desire to glorify or exalt the self and o’ershadowing will be withdrawn.—Edna Lister, February 10, 1942.

The greater the sacrifice, the greater the rewards.—Edna Lister, April 24, 1942.

God often advances you beyond your earnings so that you may learn needed lessons. You gain understanding only from advance to a point beyond your ability to reach, a point to which you do not yet even aspire. This is the Father’s way.—Edna Lister, November 2, 1942.

God’s rewards for you are greater than what you see blindly for yourself.—Edna Lister, February 7, 1945.

You earn ahead on the Ascension Degrees according to your desire and prayers.—Edna Lister, April 13, 1945.

You earn your place at God’s side by building a foundation of perfect desire; you must earn it to bring it into expression.—Edna Lister, July 9, 1945.

Anything I have is mine. I earned it, and it is good. The only way I can change it is to earn the better.—Edna Lister, July 22, 1945.

God rewards you according to your personal earnings and no more, but not less, either. Although your nearest and dearest family and friends sometimes tell Him all about your lacks and limitations, He does not grant your credits based on their opinion. What others think about you cannot change your balance sheet, which God compiles from your personal daily ledger; He considers your perfection of desire to be perfect, not solely your daily practice of law.
  Many years ago a truth student, who had been asking and praying for a car, awakened one morning to find that someone had left the back seat of an auto on her lawn during the night. Laughing, she told her teacher that she realized that her asking and praying had earned just about as much of a car as that back seat represented, after her wavering, vacillating and wondering "if she would get it" had been deducted from her statements and her prayers.—Edna Lister, Five Keys to the Kingdom, September 1, 1945.

The rewards for full surrender of self are beyond computing.—Edna Lister, June 17, 1947.

You do not earn soul triumph or your true place on the inner until nothing can tear you down to earth.—Edna Lister, July 5, 1947.

You must earn Power, or it is not given.—Edna Lister, August 17, 1947.

You cannot be 99 percent and be the perfect servant of all Power. A real servant must be 100 percent, for the Power can use only a 100 percent channel. Otherwise, Light cones you and you are of no use. The Power would shatter the body of a 99 percent-er. You can earn the last 1 percent or take four incarnations to regain your current position.—Edna Lister, November 13, 1947.

God rewards no one greatly too soon because rewards always awaken some strata of pride to work through.—Edna Lister, June 3, 1948.

The Master’s work is secret, silent and always unrewarded in outer "recognition."—Edna Lister, November 19, 1948.

The Father advances you credits so that you can release Power for lifting earth. You are always working on advanced credits that you have not yet earned.—Edna Lister, The First Days, June 17, 1951.

You must find the path to unconquerable faith, and follow the path to earn your reward. If you seek to settle down and enjoy what we have earned, Light will jolt you out of your garden of Eden.—Edna Lister, The Flaming Sword, July 6, 1952.

You don’t earn your inner place by performance and practice, but by the perfection of your desire for perfection. It’s a matter of choice.—Edna Lister, May 29, 1953.

There is no limit to your ascension, but you must earn your ticket home. You pay your ascension fare by gathering the pearls of wisdom you laid down during your original descent to earth.—Edna Lister, Do You Always Wear Your Armor? November 15, 1953.

You earn your ascension by being responsible for your place and service, and ascend just as high on the inner as you earn here.—Edna Lister, Jesus, the Son of God, November 21, 1954.

You must earn beauty, and hold it as a sacred birthright. Beauty is desire, flaming until it shows on the outside.—Edna Lister, Eternal Youth, 1955.

By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, and honor, and life.—Proverbs 22:4. "Fear of the Lord" is love of obedience and worship that brings "riches, and honor, and life," rewards that you earn by serving where you are.—Edna Lister, Promises Are Keys, May 29, 1955.

Law works miracles under absolute necessity, then you must earn again. One miracle is no reason to expect the same thing free when you can work for it. That is using force.—Edna Lister, Divine Mathematics, December 4, 1955.

You must earn back all the Mind, Substance and Power you have misused.—Edna Lister, Because I Am, March 4, 1956.

You must hear yourself at all times, so that you do not delude or excuse yourself in any way. One disobedience of law does not excuse another; what another does, does not excuse you from being perfect. You cannot hide things from your soul, use treachery or lies, evade issues or tell tales under self-delusion. You must become "of the truth," and the truth only shall set you free from the wages of sin, which is the death of soul.—Edna Lister, July 20, 1956.

"The wages of sin is death."—Romans 6:23: You suffer a million deaths as you permit self to torture you.—Edna Lister, September 2, 1956.

You earn your place by fulfilling your vision of devotion to the unknown God.—Edna Lister, Your Devotion to God, December 16, 1956.

If you can react in fear and dread, you cannot stand and know, for you have not earned the right to have God put the words on your lips.—Edna Lister, February 20, 1957.

You earn no inner credits for being a martyr.—Edna Lister, The Point of No Return, December 15, 1957.

All things are opened to those who have earned the right to know. No mystery may be withheld from the one who has earned the right to know.—Edna Lister, Revelation 1: The Throne, April 22, 1958.

Hold fast what is good.—1 Thessalonians 5:21 is how you earn comprehensive blamelessness.—Edna Lister, Constancy in Obedience, October 26, 1958.

You shall not steal.—Exodus 20:15. You may not pretend to virtues and faculties you have not already opened. What you "steal" is never yours. You must earn your credits, not pretend to them; it only delays the day when law grants your credits truly.—Edna Lister, Ten Commandments and Beatitudes, November 4, 1958.

Sacrifice of self is not asking for a reward but accepting the reward you have earned when it comes.—Edna Lister, Doing Without Thought of Reward, November 9, 1958.

Law is just; what you earn is yours.—Edna Lister, May 4, 1959.

Each individual must earn the initiatory degrees on earth.—Edna Lister, The Pioneering Mystic, May 5, 1959.

I AM is the name God gives you to earn on earth; it is the Father’s gift for winning the long, tremendous struggle to lift and sacrifice self and live by soul.—Edna Lister, Manifestation, May 24, 1959.

You earn the right to advance.—Edna Lister, May 28, 1959.

You earn your "crown of glory that does not fade away" (1 Peter 5:4) by walking the Via Christa, the Way of Christ, in humility.—Edna Lister, Imagination Is Your Crown, June 21, 1959.

You earn the faculty of apperception by walking the "burning sands of the desert", opening and developing the mental faculties of logic, reason, discrimination, discretion and discernment, and by drawing in the five outer senses.—Edna Lister, What Is Symbolism? October 6, 1959.

How you live by the pattern of your ideals determines the credits you earn toward the initiatory degrees. Holding a grudge at the end of an incarnation of good service can neutralize the credits you earned in that life.—Edna Lister, What Is Symbolism? October 6, 1959.

Nothing can be withheld from one who has earned the right to know. This is the difference between a medium and a mediator.—Edna Lister, The 33 Degrees of Soul Conquering, November 24, 1959.

Many are steadfastly practicing virtues, and earning rewards of comprehension, hearing and seeing beyond the outer visible.—Edna Lister, February 26, 1960.

You earn your way when you follow Christ.—Edna Lister, June 6, 1960.

We were driven from the Garden of Eden. We must earn our way back.—Edna Lister, Is it Right to Ask for Myself? June 14, 1960.

A death bed repentance does advance the credit to open the Gates of Light for an individual to enter the life wave to which he belongs; however, he must then earn his way by service and obedience to law.—Edna Lister, The Destiny of America, October 11, 1960.

You earn your right to ascend through mastery of self to live by soul.—Edna Lister, October 11, 1960.

You get your reward not from people, but in your increased ability to express your manifold gifts.—Edna Lister, January 28, 1962.

God cannot change law for you; if you have earned only a low place, that is what you get.
  You not only get what you earn, you get what you vision.—Edna Lister, Life Triumphant, May 27, 1962.

Only the one who has earned the right to know knows where another stands.—Edna Lister, June 7, 1962.

You do not know law until you become the law. You cannot "think about it" and get anywhere. You earn maturity, but not by thinking about it.—Edna Lister, December 20, 1962.

The wages of sin absorb all delight and open the road to the grave of all hope, beauty and joy.—Edna Lister, November 8, 1963.

"The wages of sin is death."—Romans 6:23. You have no business allowing the self to lead or command. One who lets the self lead is always cut into little pieces.—Edna Lister, The Legend of Isis and Osiris, April 14, 1964.

Effort and hard work gain you ascension in consciousness. For half credit earned, God will give half credit. Thus, half a vision earned, then God will give half a vision.—Edna Lister, June 28, 1964.

All souls on earth can ascend through the Gates of Light, if they have earned the right to pass the Gates.—Edna Lister, The Greek Pantheon of Gods, June 15, 1965.

Common sense is accepting your experience as your own. You are in your own place, the place you have earned. When you accept this, you are on the path of ascension.—Edna Lister, Truth as Practical Common Sense, November 28, 1965.

Your reward, according to the law of action and reaction, is one thousandfold pressed down and running over. You can get back only what you give.—Edna Lister, June 27, 1966.

You earn your way back to God.—Edna Lister, Judgment and Love, May 14, 1967.

You don’t earn your way simply by prayer or wanting it; you must practice obedience to law and conquer self.—Edna Lister, Religion and the World, November 5, 1967.

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New Testament on Earnings, Wages and Rewards

Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: that thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly. And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.—Matthew 6:1-6

Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; that thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.—Matthew 6:16-18

When Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed him, crying, and saying, Thou son of David, have mercy on us. And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord. Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.—Matthew 9:27-29

Whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.—Mark 9:41.

God decides each soul’s reward: To sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give; but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared.—Mark 10:40

He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.—Matthew 10:41-42

Love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.—Luke 6:35

The labourer is worthy of his hire.—Luke 10:7.

You receive no greater reward for doing your duty: When when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.—Luke 17:10

He that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth.—John 4:36-37

Being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.—Romans 6:22-23

Every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.—1 Corinthians 3:.

Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.—1 Corinthians 3:13-14

Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.—Colossians 3:23-25

Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.—Hebrews 10:35-36

By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.—Hebrews 11:5-6.

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Old Testament on Earnings, Wages and Rewards

Children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.—Psalms 127:3

Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.—Proverbs 13:13

If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: for thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the Lord shall reward thee.—Proverbs 25:21-22

The great God that formed all things both rewardeth the fool, and rewardeth transgressors.—Proverbs 26:10

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It is an easy thing unto the Lord in the day of death to reward a man according to his ways.—Wisdom of Ben Sirach 11:26

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Edna Miriam Lister
The original Pioneering Mystic,
Christian Platonist philosopher, American Idealist, Founder, Society of the Universal Living Christ, minister, teacher, author, wife, and mother.

Edna Lister

Etymology of earnings: Old English had earnung in the sense "fact of deserving; what one deserves; merit, reward, consideration, pay"; Middle English yernen, "to yearn."

Etymology of wages: Middle English, of Germanic origin, wage, "to pledge."

Etymology of rewards: Latin re- + warder, "to guard, watch over."

Earnings, wages and rewards are all laws of doing.


A comfortable old age is the reward of a well-spent youth. Instead of its bringing sad and melancholy prospects of decay, it would give us hopes of eternal youth in a better world.—Maurice Chevalier


Chevalier, Maurice, 1888-1972. I Remember It Well. New York: Macmillan, 1970.

The Compact Edition of The Oxford English Dictionary: 2 volumes. Oxford University Press, 1971.

The Holy Bible. King James Version (KJV).

The Nag Hammadi Library. James M. Robinson, editor. San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1981.

Webster, Noah. "Earnings,"Webster’s American Dictionary of the English Language. New York: S. Converse, 1828. This work is in the public domain.

Related Topics

Credits and Demerits

Correspondence and Reciprocity