‘Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money?Or are you envious because I am generous? “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”’ (Matt 20:15-16)
There are two kinds of people when it comes to the subject of predestination: The first kind say, ‘my fate was already set by God from the beginning; I should live life loose without any effort or strife, for I can change nothing – let come what may’; this type of person exercises little self-control and does anything for survival and self-gratification. Part of their conscience has died and they don’t feel guilty when the steal or sleep with another woman’s husband or another man’s wife. They wonder why the Creator – if He is powerful – could let so much evil and injustice thrive on earth, and finally blame God for having created Satan. They feel powerless to affect their destiny and resign to any effort, leaving their fate to chance or God – if He exists anyway.
The second category of people recognizes God’s power to determine their destiny, but they also recognize their responsibility here on earth, and make every effort as a good steward. They have come to terms that in the world, there is a battle for the soul: Satan on one side is seeking and luring people to his side (and the destination of these is eternal damnation); while on the other hand God expects and calls us to live according to His purpose, which is eternal fellowship with Him. Thus this kind of people get up when they realize they fell down, they turn to God when they realize they were drifting away.
Taking Jesus’ story in Matt 20, if some of the workers who had been hired early in the morning were in the first category, knowing that they will get one denarii just like those who come to the job later in the day, perhaps they would relax and drag and work lazily. Yet as good stewards, the Master expected them to give their best for the whole time! Or if those who were hired at 5pm had given up on learning that they only had one hour while their colleagues had been at work since morning, perhaps these late comers would have resigned and promised to come early the following day, yet the Master expected them to get to work as soon as he hired them.
At the end of the day, every worker was rewarded for keeping their part of the bargain; the Master was faithful. It was only in their own eyes that the deal seemed unfair – for early birds and late comers to get the same pay! Do not tamper with God’s right to do what He wants with His ‘money’ – his grace. Carry out your responsibilities according to the Master’s instructions and by His grace, you will be rewarded. And thank God for His grace towards other people – whether it appears less or greater that what you have received.
God bless you all.