In the Jewish Mishna, a rabbi says, "If you have studied the Torah, do not claim merit for yourself, since you were created for this." The same is true of service for God. Committed service is a disciple's privilege.[i]
Compare that idea to the Pharisee in the Temple who has an expectation based on doing his duty.
He was convinced that being better than other people and doing religious duties gave him special consideration from God. In contrast, God was pleased with the tax collector who came without bragging rights… just a deep sense of his failure and a desire to be in God’s presence.
We do not negotiate with God by proving our worth. We prove God’s worth by quietly doing the right thing. He gets the praise, not us.