Think Beyond Fairness
13 “But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? 14 Take your pay and go. I want to give the one 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?’ Matthew 20:13-15 NIV
I used to work with a man who when things became difficult would say, “Pretty soon we are going to have to use the four letter “F” word.” Jaws dropped and then he would smile and say, “You know, it’s not fair.” How often we feel that things are not fair. Someone gets an unexpected raise, but not someone else. Someone seems to eat whatever they want, and they never gain weight. Someone else gets picked for a special project, but not someone else…..you can list your own examples I am sure.
Jesus tells this parable of an employer paying the same wage, but the people worked different amounts of time. He uses the word unfair, but he also uses the word envious and generous. I wonder if we stop to ponder things that we think are unfair and see if it is envy that might cause that thought. We might also rejoice in someone being generous, without comparing and thinking about fairness.
People can be generous with money, but they can also be generous with time, with praise, with attention and other things. It might be good for us to focus on those things.
Dear God, help me to think beyond fairness but to consider generosity, opportunity, and what your intent and hopes and desires are. Amen.