Read Romans 12:9-16 to see what should govern our relationship with others—especially those with whom we work and serve.
How have you grumbled about God’s generosity to others? Why is it easy to think that another believer in Jesus has received greater blessings than you have?
That’s not fair. Why did she get a raise and I didn’t? I do just as much work as she does!” “Why was he chosen to lead the project when I’ve been here longer?”
I should get what I deserve is a work ethic that many of us live by. So we easily identify with the first-called workers in the parable that Jesus told in Matthew 20 (Matthew 20:1-2).
Those who worked all or most of the day—during the hottest part of the day—believed that their pay would exceed that of those who had worked an hour or so (Matthew 20:10). They thought: “Surely, if those who worked for one hour received one denarius, I deserve more.”
But soon they realized that something was amiss. The ones who began working at 9:00, noon, 3:00, 5:00, and 6:00 all received one denarius (“daily wage” Matthew 20:8-9). And sure enough, they too received one denarius (Matthew 20:10). They felt shortchanged (Matthew 20:11-12).
Imagine for a moment that instead of receiving a coin, each of the workers had received their pay in an envelope, which they opened in the privacy of their homes. As they caught sight of the denarius tucked within, their eyes would have surely brightened in delight. For one denarius was the typical day’s wage for an ordinary laborer. It was appropriate!
When we begin to live in the light of what I’ve done and what I deserve—comparing ourselves to others, we’ll start calculating our reward based on our efforts rather than on God’s grace.
May we proclaim as the apostle Paul did: “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength to do His work. He considered me trustworthy and appointed me to serve Him” (1 Timothy 1:12). His reward will be perfect just as He is perfect.
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Nehemiah 5:1-19
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