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Being Paid More than I'm Worth

Has anybody questioned your value or implied your incompetence lately? If you haven’t noticed that happening, you must be completely clueless! See, I just did it to you so you’ll be on the same page with the rest of us. (You can thank me later.)

We get it all the time. No matter how hard we try, someone says we aren’t good enough. Sometimes that “someone” is our self. We buy into the world’s way of measuring worth. A way that measures us by our A’s - appearance, aptitude, and accomplishment.

Those are the tickets to being “somebody”. If you are a super model, you get a super salary. If you score high enough on the test, you get a scholarship to a prestigious school. If you sell the most or score the most points, you are rewarded with wealth.

We are so accustomed to being measured by our A’s - and to measuring others that way - that it seems right to us. Right, even though it dooms us all to failure and frustration.

Most of us will never be the prettiest, the smartest or the most talented. Most of us are very ordinary. Even if we scramble to the top, we don’t stay long. Beauty fades. Sharp minds dull. And the best businessman can never broker a deal to deter his death.

Fortunately, there is good news; God is not fair! He has a different system for determining worth.

Jesus told about a man who hired workers to tend his grapes. Around 5:00 p.m. he went downtown and saw some men idle on the corner. When he asked why they hadn’t gone to work, they replied, “Because no one has hired us” (Matthew 20:7).

Why not? For some reason, those men were found lacking and were left out. Nobody thought they were good enough. Maybe you can relate.

Nobody wanted them - until Jesus’ vineyard owner came along. This boss not only hired workers that nobody else wanted, but he shocked everyone by paying them as much for one hour as he paid others for twelve hours.

Who would do such a thing?

God would! Jesus introduced his story with, “The kingdom of heaven is like . . .” (v.1). This is God being portrayed. It is he who welcomes those whom everyone else rejects. When others, including ourselves, think we are worthless, he reminds us that we are his children, made in his image and invited to work in his vineyard - the greatest work in the world’s history.

Our challenge is not to be great, but to trust in God’s grace, instead of our A’s.


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