One of my favorite stories in the bible is Mathew Chapter 20. It is about a land owner that needs to pay people to work in his vineyard. He hires some workers and tells them he will pay them a denarius, which is a piece of silver. They all agreed to work for as long as it would take to finish and they would be paid a denarius. These workers ended up working 12 hours.
He realizes three hours later he needs to hire more people so he goes out to the street and hires more.These workers ended up working 9 hours. Six hours later he hires more, who work 6 hours. Nine hours later hires more, who work 3 hours. On the eleventh hour, he hires even more people to finish his work. They worked one hour. The work finished.
When everyone was done, he had them all line up to be paid. He starts paying the ones that have worked one hour. He pays them each a piece of silver. He then pays those who worked 3, 6 , and 9 hours, all receiving the same amount, a piece of silver. I think he does this on purpose. Can you image how the workers who put in a full day felt when they, too received one piece of silver? They felt cheated somehow. Yet, the owner told them they would be paid one denarius for their work. For some reason they expected more when they saw what the others got paid.
Life isn’t always fair. I have taught my kids that life is not fair and nothing is ever even. During Christmas time I wouldn’t worry about them having the same value presents, I would just buy what I wanted for them.
Another example is taking my kids to the doctor. We would all go to the doctor’s office. After, we would get ice cream, but only for the one who had the appointment.
It is like this right now in our world with COVID-19, some businesses are allowed to open before others. Is it fair No. Some are showing anger to the business that is allowed to open. We need to cheer them on and not take it as a hit on you.
In my former life, I was married to a campus pastor at a small church. One Sunday morning, I was greeting the congregation as they arrived. I was talking with 2 women for a moment and gave one the women a compliment. I believe I told her how nice her hair looked that day. I distinctly remember what the other women said, “what I am chopped liver?” I thought just because I gave someone else a compliment doesn’t mean you should be offended. I think sometimes we get mad when we witness something given to someone else that we want or even need. I just want you to think about someone else’s success or when someone gets something you want.
How do you respond?