“Now when evening came, the owner of the vineyard *said to his foreman, ‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages, starting with the last group to the first.’ When those hired about the eleventh hour came, each one received a denarius. And so when those hired first came, they thought that they would receive more; but each of them also received a denarius. When they received it, they grumbled at the landowner, saying, ‘These who were hired last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day’s work and the scorching heat.’ But he answered and said to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for a denarius? Take what is yours and go; but I want to give to this last person the same as to you. Is it not lawful for me to do what I want with what is my own? Or is your eye envious because I am generous?’ So the last shall be first, and the first, last.” Matthew 20:8-16
It seems like a reasonable equation. The more hours of labor you put in, the more wages you get for your time. Right? Yet Jesus, spoke to where most hearts get harden and clench fist start to take shape. Here Jesus revealed their attitudes towards grace and generosity. As the later workers was given their reward for their work it was the same amount for those who started earlier. As they grumbled, the landowner did give to them what was promised. Jesus gave a kingdom of Heaven perspective that we must harvest in. There’s an attitude shift that needs to take place towards grace and generosity. Making sure to keep our focus on God who is the rewarder and not on our ability as the receiver.
What an attitude check I need for myself. Check yourself before you wreck yourself. I wonder how is my attitude towards grace and generosity? I like to say, I do such a great job, but I know I can always do better. Maybe I really need help from God on this one. One of the most toxic way to kill grace and generosity is comparison. I can easily look at situations and start to measure the amount of grace and generosity given not too long here comes the cousin of compassion which is self-absorption. I start to analyze myself and my work. It won’t take long for the enemy to start to distort my thoughts, my heart and my attitude towards grace and generosity. But Jesus comes to my rescue today to renew and refuel my perspective. No matter what be gracious in all my dealing and celebrate in generosity. Maybe this holiday season what a great way to upgrade my attitude.
Jesus I thank you for all that you have done in my life. I pray that in midst of the hustle may I take time to give grace despite depth wrongness and be generous even if I lack. Lord, may I continue to harvest in a kingdom perspective knowing I am in this world but not of this world. Amen