Saturday, April 4, 2015
that's not fair!
Jesus talks a great deal about things being "not fair!" and His stories never end with "and it was fair for everyone." He basically says over and over "you're right... it's not fair!" but in every story, what is real and true is better than what is fair.
Martha (poor Martha... aren't you glad you're not in the Bible? poor Thomas doubts that Jesus was resurrected ONE TIME... and he's known as Doubting Thomas for all eternity) feels put upon. she's trying to cook and clean for ALL of these guests who have suddenly appeared at her house... and her sister is just sitting around listening to Jesus! can't she get a little help?? who among us hasn't felt like this from time to time? i know i have...
but Jesus reminds her (and us) what is truly important. only a fool or a lunatic would say that cooking and cleaning are not important. without them, we wouldn't live very long. but there is something MORE important.
when the prodigal son returns, the older son is right... the prodigal son DID squander his father's money. the older son DID make the right choice. the older son DOES deserve the father's gratitude more than the prodigal does. but the moral of the story is that there is something MORE important.
when the laborers out in the field get paid the same amount whether they worked all day or only an hour, the ones who worked all day were understandably upset. why were they getting paid the same as people who only worked one hour? the reason is... there is something MORE important.
God's generosity. His grace. He gives us such abundant gifts that sometimes we forget that it is ALL gift. we forget that the reason i HAVE a job to go to is because He has provided it. when i see someone who needs food or money or something... it's easy to think "this is MY money... go get your own!" but where did i get it? God gave it to me. and He wants me to be generous the way HE is generous.
and here's the kicker. He wants this for the sake of the person receiving my generosity, sure. but even more so, He wants this for MY sake! He wants me to learn to be generous, because that makes me more like Him.
He wants Martha and the prodigal son's older brother and the laborers who worked all day to learn to be generous, like He is.
God, teach me your generosity, because I can be dreadfully stingy.