Read Matthew 20:1-16
The landowner said, “Are you envious because I am generous?”
- Matthew 20:15 (NRSV)
In our reading for today, Jesus tells of a man who hired different workers at different times of the day: morning, noon, and evening. When it was time for the workers to receive the wages promised to them, those who had worked all day were upset that those who came later were paid just as much as they. The employer told them he had done no wrong, that he paid each one what he had promised. So what caused these all-day workers to be upset? They compared their situations to someone else’s. If they had not compared, they would not have been dissatisfied. Sometimes, looking at others’ lives, I become dissatisfied because theirs look richer and fuller than mine. Maybe they have the kinds of relationships that I long for. Or maybe they have luxuries that seem unattainable to me. When we compare ourselves to someone else, we may end up feeling better than that person, which can fill us with pride; or we may end up feeling worse, which can fill us with insecurity and jealousy. The parable we read today teaches us that focusing on what others have or do not have leaves us feeling empty. If we focus instead on the goodness of God and how trustworthy and wonderful God is, we will find that the spiritual life offers riches beyond comparison.
Thought for the Day: Looking to God makes us spiritually rich.
Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, help us to trust that you will sustain us. Amen.
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