It’s Not Fair!
“When those hired at five o’clock were paid, each received a full day’s wage. When those hired first came to get their pay, they assumed they would receive more. But they, too, were paid a day’s wage. When they received their pay, they protested to the owner, ‘Those people worked only one hour, and yet you’ve paid them just as much as you paid us who worked all day in the scorching heat.’ “He answered one of them, ‘Friend, I haven’t been unfair! Didn’t you agree to work all day for the usual wage? Take your money and go. I wanted to pay this last worker the same as you. Is it against the law for me to do what I want with my money? Should you be jealous because I am kind to others?’ “So those who are last now will be first then, and those who are first will be last.”1
I don’t know about you, but my human mind has, at times, struggled with the scripture for today. It doesn’t seem to resonate with our understanding of fairness in society today. How could the owner pay all the workers the same wage, when one man came to work just the last portion of the day? Was it fair? I love the owner’s response to one of the people who protested against this “unfair” act, “Friend, I haven’t been unfair! Didn’t you agree to work all day for the usual wage? Is it against the law for me to do what I want with my money? Should you be jealous because I am kind to others?”1
Have you ever questioned God’s “fairness?” I recently had a conversation with someone about how they thought it was unfair that some people dedicate their lives to God’s ministry and others accept Christ as their Savior on their death bed, but yet both go to Heaven. I have also heard others question how people who have practiced violence and hatred all their lives can receive the same forgiveness and grace as a person who has served God and tried to live godly lives. However, Jesus was the one who sacrificed HIS life on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. He can choose who he wants to extend his gift of eternal life and forgiveness to. Fortunately for us, it is free to anyone who chooses to believe regardless of when they choose to accept it.
Let us be careful not to take the role of judge when it is not ours to take. The Bible says, “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.”2 Our job is to be faithful and serve God wholeheartedly. We need not question God, because “He is the Rock; his deeds are perfect. Everything he does is just and fair. He is a faithful God who does no wrong; how just and upright he is!”3
Suggested prayer: “Dear God, thank you for your goodness and grace that extends beyond our human understanding. Please help me remember that you are always fair and just and keep me from trying to put myself in a place of judge when that place belongs only to you. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
1. Matthew 20:9-16 (NLT).
2. Matthew 7:1-2 (NLT).
3. Deuteronomy 32:4 (NLT).
All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.