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Equal Pay for Unequal Work

The parable of the vineyard workers (Matt. 20) offends our sense of fairness. Why should everyone get equal pay for unequal work?

Back in Ontario when the apples ripened, Mom would sit all seven of us down, Dad included, with pans and paring knives until the mountain of fruit was reduced to neat rows of filled canning jars. She never bothered keeping track of how many we did, though the younger ones undoubtedly proved more of a nuisance than a help: cut fingers, squabbles over who got which pan, apple core fights. But when the job was done, the reward for everyone was the same: the largest chocolate-dipped cone money could buy. A stickler might argue it wasn’t quite fair since the older ones actually peeled apples. But I can’t remember anyone complaining about it. A family understands it operates under a different set of norms than a courtroom. In fact, when the store ran out of ice cream and my younger brother had to make do with a popsicle, we felt sorry for him despite his lack of productivity (he’d eaten all the apples he’d peeled that day—both of them).

God wants all his children to enjoy the complete fullness of eternal life. No true child of God wants it any other way.

- Robert De Moor

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