Matthew 20:9-16 (NIV)
9 “The workers who were hired about the eleventh hour came and each received a denarius.
10 So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius.
11 When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner.
12 ‘These men who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’
13 “But he answered one of them, ‘Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius?
14 Take your pay and go. I want to give the man who was hired last the same as I gave you.
15 Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’
16 “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”
After college I worked at a particular job for several years before getting into PA school. I enjoyed interacting with the staff and the patients at the Hospital, but after a few years I tired of some of the duties involved. There were several members of the staff that came and went. I had agreed to work for a certain wage and was happy with what I was getting. After some new workers were hired in a year or two after me, and I found out they were making the same wage as me, I remember having some bitter thoughts. Feeling I was a harder worker than some and had been there longer, it seemed reasonable that I made more money. Fortunately God continued to show His grace toward me, and I was able to be thankful for how He was supplying for me and my wife. Soon He showed me where He wanted me to be on the front of one of the sections in our city’s newspaper(another story).
In Matthew 20, we read about the parable of the employer who decided to give the worker who worked the whole day the same as the one that worked for only an hour. I can relate to how the people in the parable felt. But instead of getting caught up in feelings of bitterness and anger, I am once again thankful for the picture of grace that is shown to me. I am like the ones at the end of the day. In reality I do not deserve what the Lord gives. It is only because of His love, and mercy, and grace and so much more that I am able to receive from Him. No work on my part whether for an hour or a lifetime will be enough to gain any reward.
Titus 3:3-7 (NIV)
3 At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.
4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared,
5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,
6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior,
7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.
Sometimes those feelings of “No fair” come to surface in my mind, but as I consider my Lord and my life, they can quickly turn to feelings of “Thank you that you chose to be so generous to me!”
So when you open your paycheck up, or are somehow “underpaid” somehow in your life, may it turn to joy as you are reminded of what you have in Christ, even more importantly of who you have, Christ Himself.
For any comments on these passages or thoughts go to comments below and log in to comment. Go to Time in the Word at the top of the page for the schedule of readings. Taste His Word today. Share it with someone.