« I Am Pharaoh | Main | Make or Break »

"Fair" Wages

Matthew 20:1 (NKJV)
“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard..."

This is the uncomfortable, "unfair" passage where the landowner hire people to work throughout the day. Then at the end of the day, he pays them all the same wage whether they worked all day or only an hour.

The most important thing to keep in mind when reading this through is the fact that Jesus is describing what the Kingdom of God is like. This parable is painful at so many levels. It goes against my sense of fairness. But in the story, Jesus reminds me that its about the agreement - "‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? Take what is yours and go your way. I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things? Or is your eye evil because I am good?" (v13-15). God's goodness is not demonstrated in His parity. It is demonstrated in the way He keeps His word.

What this really confronts is my need to find my worth in comparison with others. I know I would have preferred to be the last person hired and received the full wage instead of having to labor all day. Is my effort, commitment, skill, time not as valuable as "Johnny Come-Lately"? I know this is especially true when I look at certain areas in my life: my housing situation, the size of my church, the amount of money I make...all of these things are frustrating because I compare my situation with other people who have something different; what is in my opinion, a "better deal."

What this exposes in my life is my desire to do as little as possible while expecting maximum return. It reminds me that I still base my personal value or significance in a comparison with others. I need to simply keep focused on giving my best effort for my work in God's field. I desire to find satisfaction in the quality of the work I do, instead of looking over my shoulder at what other are or aren't doing. And at the end of the day, God will keep His end of the agreement He's made with me...because He is good.

God, thank you that your goodness is demonstrated by the way you keep your agreements. Thank you for the privilege of working the Kingdom's field.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 26, 2011 6:32 AM.

The previous post in this blog was I Am Pharaoh.

The next post in this blog is Make or Break.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Powered by
Movable Type 3.33