Life Is Fair?

September 13, 2011 § Leave a comment

Can anyone really blame the early workers in the parable of the workers in the vineyard (Matthew 20:1-16) when they complained (20:11) about receiving the same wage than those who started working much later than them?  Surely, it is not fair for those who worked only one hour to receive the same wage than those who worked the entire day.  If you use this kind of logic, and constantly comparing yourself with how life is treating other people, then of course, life is not fair.  From that perspective, this parable has a blunt message:  Life is not fair, get over it!  However, there is more to this parable.  In fact, it gives us a truly Christian perspective on God’s work in the midst of a seemingly unfair world.  In the kingdom of God, this is not unfair (20:13).  Not if you ask the question, “Are you envious because I am generous?”  God’s generosity works with a different logic.  The logic of grace does not imply that anyone gets what they so-called deserves.  The logic of grace depends on God’s promise that He will always freely give everyone’s daily bread to the measure that He thinks everyone needs it today.  If we open our eyes for God’s generosity to us, and if we embrace all the gifts God gives to us every day, we will be less focused on comparing ourselves with others.

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