There are so many different things that can cause us to feel like “life isn’t fair,” but it always comes from us comparing our lives to someone else’s. They seem to be living free from worry or pain, and we’re stuck with whatever we are dealing with. Sometimes it is a big thing like a terminal illness or losing a loved one, and sometimes it is a small thing like not getting the last cupcake. No matter what it is, we can find ourselves saying, “It’s not fair!”
Chad spoke about the parable Jesus told in Matthew 20:1-7, and let me tell you this is one story I both hate and love. I hate it because I find myself feeling like one of the first workers. I’ve been a Christian my whole life, so how does someone who becomes a Christian in the last minute of their life still get to go to heaven? And as the words come out of my mouth, I cringe as I realize that’s the best part of it. God’s grace is for everyone. That’s wonderful news! There is no time requirement or number of years you need to “put in” before you can reap the benefits of the grace God has freely given. While it might take work to remain faithful, I have been blessed with joy in the midst of sorrow and peace in the midst of uncertainty my whole life. Even when I sometimes forget, God has always been with me. Even when I make mistakes, God is still there, and He helps me fix the mistakes I make. Life is not perfect for Christians, but we do have hope that someday it will be in heaven.
The workers in the parable who didn’t start work until late in the day must have been worried sick about where their next meal was coming from. Maybe they had a sick family member at home or kids they needed to feed. What a nerve-racking day for them. Then it probably didn’t help anything that the early workers were angry at them for getting the same pay. Like it was their fault. While they hadn’t worked as long as the others, they still had the exact same need for the money. We all have the exact same need of a Savior.
Thankfully, God does not weigh our sins against us. Thankfully, God is not fair. He does not give us what we deserve. It doesn’t matter how much we have sinned or how “bad” those sins are. When we acknowledge Jesus as our Savior and Lord, God doesn’t see those sins after we confess them. Psalm 103:12 says, “as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” And 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” That is a wonderful thing because somehow we just can’t stop sinning, no matter how hard we try. We are never entitled to more “pay” than anyone else no matter how long we have been following God or how good we think we are.
Just as the owner of the vineyard in Matthew 20 stayed out until late in the day to find workers, so God pursues us because He wants us to follow after Him. Jesus came to “seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:10) He wants us to find Him. He wants us to have a relationship with Him and trust Him in all things. He wants what is best for us, and He made us, so He would know what that “best” is. Shouldn’t we be listening to Him?