Mercy Over Fairness

In Matthew 20:1-6, Jesus told a parable about workers in a field. Some started at sunrise. Some started at the end of the day. And when they lined up for their checks before heading home, everyone got the same pay. Of course, the guys who showed up at sunrise complained. “Why do we get the same pay as the guys who showed up at the end?” And the boss said, “If I’m going to be generous, why are you complaining about that?”

We love justice. We love our pay. We love to demand justice when someone has wronged us. There’s something about natural law that makes us want what seems the most fair.

But there’s something better than fair. It’s mercy. It’s giving to people who don’t deserve it. It’s lending to people who can’t ever pay us back. It’s forgiving even when someone couldn’t possibly earn it. That’s how God is toward us. It’s how he calls us to be to each other.

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