Unjust, Unfair

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

In Matthew 20:1-16, Jesus tells the disciples a parable about how those who work the least get paid the same as those who work the most. It is clearly a tale that endorses injustice.

Most of us would agree that life is unfair. If all of life were completely fair then we would all be equal in every way—athletic ability, IQ, artistic talent, musical competence, mathematical aptitude and more. We would all be like the people in Garrison Keillor’s hometown of Lake Wobegon, “where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking and all the children are above average.”

Whenever I hear people say, “life is unfair,” and then wonder what to do about it, I think of the opening statement to Dr. M. Scot Peck's best selling book, The Road Less Travelled. He began the book by writing, “Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult, once we truly understand and accept it, then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.”

In other words, the fact that life is difficult becomes a given. It’s like accepting the fact that the weather changes. It will never be constant or totally to your liking. So today, whether the sun is shining or rain is falling, there’s not much you can do about it except complain, if you don’t like it, or accept it and go about your business as best as possible. The important thing is not to take it personally. It helps me remember that Jesus said, “God makes the sun rise on evil and the good and sends the rain on the righteous and the unrighteous."(Matthew 5:45)

We have each had our moments of being righteous and unrighteous. Each of us has had our own moments in where we let the other workers down, but we hoped for equal pay (or maybe even better.) It might be good to know that God leans toward being merciful and paying both the good and bad workers in full, versus trying to gain my own way. A prayer we might each want to learn is “Thanks be to God that God is not fair, and gives us so much more than any of us deserve.”

Matthew 20 blessings to you all,

Pastor David J. Jensen

1 comment (Add your own)

1. Marcia Pinkstaff wrote:
This is great Pastor Dave. Just like your sermons, you speak right to me and what I need.

Thu, September 15, 2011 @ 11:29 AM

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