The parable of the workers in the Vineyard in Matthew 20:1-16 ends, well, outlandishly.
Now there’s a word for you — outlandishly.
Here’s the ending…
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?’
What? … Well, I guess my first reaction must be jealousy, given that I just blurted out a big, “What?” The one hired last (at 5pm) gets the same pay as the one hired in the morning (at 7am). Good grief. That’s not fair.
Exactly. You catch on quickly…
So here are my questions, my stab at the application: With whom can we be more generous and gracious this week? With whom can we be less precise and exacting? Whose imperfections can we just not worry so much about this week? To whom can we show a kind of love that will cover sins and make us realize we are acting, well, outlandishly?
“But you don’t know my situation, Don. You don’t know how much this bothers me?”
Nope, I don’t. And you don’t know my mine. That’s why both you and I daily must remember this if we are ever going to be accused of acting outlandishly:
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” (Colossians 3:12 New International Version)… Okay friends, get your clothes on on and start acting outlandishly!