Working for denarius
Most of us have jobs and work for money, and some of us work harder than others, some longer hours than others, yet some earn so much more than the rest of us! Why?
Well, it could be the different level of skill, or qualifications or the position held! What if the difference between individual salaries has nothing to do with the above-mentioned but has everything to do with favor and what you settled for?
“…. a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard. “About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went. “He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing. About five in the afternoon he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’ “ ‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered. “He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’ “When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’ “The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius. So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. ‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’”
Matthew 20:1-12 NIV
Now the following verse is the one I am most interested in:
“But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being UNFAIR to you, friend. Didn’t you AGREE to work for a denarius?”
Matthew 20:13 NIV
There are two words I highlighted in the verse above… agree and unfair… I want to talk about in this piece.
An employer here states that he is not being unfair to pay one employee a denarius for the entire day’s work whilst he pays another who worked only one hour that day the same amount! Clearly, pay-rates are different between these employees and it definitely seems unfair to the one who worked longer hours for the same pay as those working shorter hours get.
Sadly this is happening today, as some are earning so much more than others, even if and when doing the same work. This is a disadvantage of working for money and for someone.
An employee has no power to impose to the employer how much an employer should pay him, except if you are in South Africa where you can demand higher salaries as a group and down tools or abandon your duties in protest, and also loot and destroy infrastructure whilst at it!
Is it really unfair for an employer to pay you and your colleagues differently even though your are doing similar work? It is your employer’s money, he can do whatever he wants with it, can’t he? I believe it is only unfair if and only if it is outside the agreement you had with him about your pay as an employee and his expectations as an employer. This bring us to my second point….
I believe if your employer pays you as per the prior agreement or contract your signed when you join his team, then how much he pays your colleague in relation to your pay should not matter nor be used to fault him, right? Perhaps you were not a good negotiator and you settled for far too little; so are many of us!
So the question is; what is it that one can do when one finds oneself in a situation like this?
– you could find someone else who would pay you more for what you do and then leave the current employer.
– you could talk your current employer into agreeing and committing to paying you more and as much as the highest paid colleague of yours. Well, all the best!
– better yet, you could be your own man and start your own business in which you and you alone would determine your pay. Well, you won’t do it and your employer is counting on it!
So, your pay is unfair only if it is not as per the agreement you singed with your employer. You have a choice to either settle for far less than what you deserve or do something about it! Your boss has the right to do whatever he wants with his money, even if he pays everyone else better than he pays you! It is NOT your boss’ original plan to pay you as much as you want, but it’s his plan to keep as much for himself as possible. Sad but true. So, get over it!
Are you a denarius a day or denarius an hour kind of a person? No more toiling! May our good God plant benefactors for you everywhere you turn, who would give you so much more than they give to anyone else.
May you not toil even if for a second this month, this year, this decade, this century and this lifetime. May those around you be generous to you! May blessings and favor follow you every step you take. In Jesus’ Name. Amen and Amen!