“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD” – Isaiah 55 : 8
Interestingly, this was taken from this weekend’s liturgy reading. The gospel focused on Matthew 20 : 1-16, which basically talk about the parable of the vineyard owner who paid every worker the same amount of wages, including those he hired at the last minute. The workers who were hired in the morning were angry at the injustice they saw from the owner.
“We worked harder than those guys who came in late, how can you pay them as much as us?”
And now you know why salary disclosure is a confidential matter 😉
The point here today is not so much on the injustice. It’s not so much about fair wages either and being treated fairly and equally. In fact if you look at it from an angle, they were in fact treated equally, as in there was no discrimination in the wages being paid out, everyone got the same. The morning workers weren’t cheated if you read closely, because they offered to do the job for the same amount of money that would be paid to the last minute workers. In fact The owner vineyard didn’t short change the morning workers at all! He paid them accordingly to what was agreed.
My friend, I am not cheating you. Did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? Take what is yours and go. What if I wish to give this last one the same as you? Or am I not free to do as I wish with my own money? Are you envious because I am generous?’ – Matt 20 : 13 – 15
Ooh, what a slap in the face, but you know what, the owner is right! Who are we to tell the owner that He should pay less to those who came late?
Thank goodness God does not operate to corporate standards. If God ran his company God Inc. we probably would have been fired long long time ago for “failure to comply with the company’s standards”. The underlying theme here is that God is generous, just as He is merciful and this is something we humans cannot understand. In a way, I like this parable, because it has something to do with practical lives, for once we see God as a businessman, and we’re appalled at how he treats his more hardworking loyal employees. Where’s equality and fairness? Oh it’s right there, in fact we have no right to talk about equality and fairness to a God who is full of justice; the fact He doesn’t short change us is a clear indication!
Our God is a generous God, and no our feeble minds may not be able to wrap around this concept, especially when it comes to Him judging and dealing with other, “less-qualified” people in our church and daily lives, but as Isaiah 55:8 says:
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,”
The jealousy and envious on our part should not be called for. Rather the focus should honestly be on celebrating God’s goodness and His mercy and faithfulness to us.