I was reading recently in Matthew 20 about the land owner who hired all the day laborers. As I read, I felt the familiar chaffing in response to the “unfairness” of the last workers receiving the same as the those who’d toiled all that livelong day in the vineyard.
It has always bothered me that those who had barely broken a sweat received the exact same wage from the landowner as those who had sweat and labored from sunup to sundown in this parable. And then it hit me –
Have I lived my entire adult life as if my eternal abode was earned with good old fashioned sweat equity?
I’ve been pondering this for weeks now.
On the one hand, I do not believe sweat equity has a place in God’s House. I believe the moment we begin to think that any thing we can do will earn God’s favor in any way, we have missed the point of grace. And God is ALL ABOUT GRACE!
On the other hand, the chaffing I receive every single time I read that parable is undeniable proof that some part of me clings to the idea that I can earn God’s grace. That I can behave my way into Heaven. That I can do enough good works to change God’s mind about my sin. And I can’t.
No one can. And that’s good news!
The saint that’s been raised in the church (ie. me) is offered the same grace as the death row inmate walking to his execution (ie “real sinners”).
That is what I’m beginning to truly wrap my mind around as I read the Word this year – G R A C E.
How about you?
I’m embracing feedback this year. Please leave yours in the comments – the good, the bad, the indifferent. I’d love to hear from you.