I can remember in my younger days making deals with God or at least trying to make deals with God. Looking back now it seems humorous and embarrassing. Usually I would end up promising God that I would stop something sinful if He gave me what I was asking for. So basically I was promising to stop doing something that I shouldn't be doing anyway and expecting to be rewarded for it. It's like saying, "God I promise to stop taking money out of the safe at work if you will just let me win the lottery."
I also used the opposite approach. I would promise to do something that I should have been doing anyway if God would only "give in" and let me have what I wanted. It was like this, "Dear God, I promise to go to Mass every Sunday, if you will find me a new job."
Our dealings with God can often be like these examples. In today's Gospel Jesus clears things up rather nicely although it stings the pride a bit in practice. Here He tells me that I know deep in my heart what it is that I should be doing. I know how I should be living and all the rest. When I am doing all of these things I should not expect any kind of rest or reward.
This is a little easier to deal with when I keep in mind that every good thing I have comes from God and that every good thing that I do is only by His grace. This is a great antidote to pride. By simply praying this Scripture often I can keep the correct perspective on my place in the Kingdom, "I am an unworthy servant, I have only done what was my duty." If I can honestly say that when I meet Our Lord, I will be doing great!
FROM THE SAINTS - "The path of Humility takes you everywhere...but above all to Heaven." - Saint Josemaria Escriva in Furrow # 282