The first workers negotiated a contract. The others trusted the justice of the boss to pay them what was right. His goodness rewarded them beyond their expectations.
Nobody was obligated to work for this boss.
The long-term workers accused the boss of making the short-term workers equal with them. He seems to agree when he says, “the last shall be first, and the first last.”
Do not forget your original pleasure and joy at being called to work.
Do not complain if you do more than others in the kingdom of Heaven.
Do not envy those who do less than you in the kingdom of Heaven.
Do not begrudge others their rewards and blessings.
Do not challenge the judgment and generosity and justice of the Lord.
Do not question the desires and pleasures of God.
Do not imagine evil where God is doing good.
Do not attribute evil to God’s goodness.
Do I think it fair that a full-day worker get paid as much as a one-hour worker? No. Does it have to be fair? No. Does what I think matter here? No. Is it my business how much someone else gets paid? No. So, do I have anything to fuss about? No.
Wouldn’t you prefer to be a one-hour worker? Not me! I love the Boss too much! He has so much that needs doing and so little time and so few workers to accomplish it all. I wish I could work all day, but I squandered part of it. Now my goal in life is to get as much done for Him as I possibly can.
I pity the one-hour worker! He has but an hour to be about his Father’s business. I’ve been blessed with considerably more time than that. If I were to envy him, I would be revealing an upside-down perspective on serving God. I would be motivated by the reward, rather than by my love for Him.
Excerpted from The Parable of the Vineyard Workers
Additional Reading: Wait on the Lord