Theme of the Week: Attitude of Gratitude
Bible Verse: “But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’” Matthew 20:13-15
Scripture Reading: Matthew 20:1-16
There’s no way around it, it’s difficult to experience things that seem unfair. Just ask John the Baptist—sitting in a jail cell while other people are experiencing the miracles of Jesus. It was unfair enough for him to ask Jesus (the one he had already called the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world) if he was the one they were waiting for.
Jesus had a good answer for him, but because wanting what others have is such a deeply human issue, he also told a parable about a landowner who hired out his work. Long story short, everyone got paid the same no matter how long they had worked. When the workers who toiled the longest complained, the owner asked if they were envious because he was generous.
Those who had worked longer still received the wage they were promised (by the way, it was a good daily wage). But when they were not given more than those who worked less, they complained. The irony here is pretty thick. They complained that they had received a generous wage for a day’s work that they had agreed to.
The workers’ viewpoint is understandable; wrong, but understandable. Instead of being grateful for the day’s work, which they needed, and the pay that went along with it, they were jealous of others. They thought they deserved more despite having been given what they agreed to.
We have a choice in what we think are unfair situations: We can be jealous of the good things that come to others. Or we can be grateful for what we have been given. Don’t misunderstand, that’s not an easy choice. But it is a choice.
We can celebrate the good that we have received and the good that has come to others, or we can be jealous, thinking that we deserve more.
Prayer: God forgive me for the times I am unsatisfied and want what someone else has. Thank you for the many good gifts you give not just to me, but to others as well. Help me to celebrate with those who receive your good gifts.
Reflection: Find something to celebrate for someone else today.
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