1 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. 2 He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard.
3 “About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. 4 He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ 5 So they went.
“He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing. 6 About five in the afternoon he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’
7 “‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered.
“He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’
8 “When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’
9 “The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius. 10 So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius.11 When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner.12 ‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’
13 “But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? 14 Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. 15 Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’
16 “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”
When we have a job to do, we have a job description and we are paid based on that job description. A low-level job will demand a low-level pay. A job with more responsibility and requires a lot of expertise will demand more pay. Typically, pay is also dependent on the time that you put in. If you have a forty hour work week and get paid for that time, you would balk at any request to work extra time without the compensation.
Jesus told a parable about the kingdom of God and how grace works. If we have a work mentality, then we would be like the workers who went in early and worked the full day. They had a bad attitude because they were getting the same pay as those who worked for only one hour. Some of us require more grace than others, but it is up to God on how he dispenses his grace. Instead of being thankful for what God has given us, we start looking at others and have a perception that God has blessed them more than us. I need to remember that God is gracious to everyone who signs up to work in the vineyard. That vineyard is the kingdom of God and I decided to follow Jesus and not based on comparing myself to others.