If you have been in the work-world long enough, you have probably had a job where seniority was very important. Seniority can play a role in vacation schedules, pay scale, and job security. In fact, sometimes it can create tensions in the work environment because people with less seniority may harbor resentment towards those with more seniority because they feel like they are working harder. But is that really the way we should be thinking of things? Yesterday, I looked at the fact that God didn't order things the way we do here on earth. In fact, I later thought of the verses in Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV), "'For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,' declares the Lord. 'As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.'" So as we think through what we are being told in the Bible, we cannot think of it from our own perspective; we need to pray that the Holy Spirit will reveal God's perspective. Jesus had a way of pointing out God's perspective while He walked on this planet and today's reading shows us one more perspective on the idea that "the first will be last and the last will be first." Please read Matthew 20:1-16.
Our perspective on "seniority" is kind of like a "first come, first serve" mentality. But Jesus shows us in this parable that God's measuring stick doesn't look at "first come, first serve." In fact, He shows us that those who have been following Him should take on a servant's heart and be willing to be last. If we think that we deserve a greater reward because we have been following Jesus longer than someone else, we are mistaken. Think on this for a moment: in God's kingdom, there is no seniority. What do you think about that? Does it seem fair to you?
Okay, now I want us to pull the magnifying glass back on ourselves for a moment and be honest with answering this question: No matter how long I have followed Jesus, have I really done anything that deserves honor before my Creator? Be honest! Does that change your perspective on fairness? You see, we often equate justice and mercy with fairness, and Jesus was pointing out to us that it isn't about fairness. If God was considering fairness, then Jesus would have never died on the cross for us. That wasn't fair. It wasn't fair, but it was mercy and grace. So, do we have any right to be upset that someone who chose to believe in Christ with their last dying breath gets to share in God's kingdom with someone who believed all their life? And if we are concerned about seniority, let's consider who has the most seniority and who has been the most faithful at their job - God. None of us can compare to that measure; we all fall extremely short. So short, it is ridiculous to even consider. The reward at the end is too great to be worried about seniority. Let's just keep running this incredible race and spur each other on with love and encouragement! Let's do everything we can to finish well!
How do you feel about seniority?
This post is linked with Thought Provoking Thursday.