Complaining or Rejoicing Reveals Your Heart

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A Nugget from New Life Network

(excerpts from Dr. Larry Ollison)

Scripture for the Day (August 9, 2018)​​​​​​​

Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. (Philippians 2:3)

A particular parable in the book of Matthew provides us with an excellent example of workers complaining about how they were being treated by a landowner.

The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner, who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. Now when he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them to his vineyard. And he went out about the third hour and saw others standing idle in the marketplace. And he said to them, “You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right, I will give you.” So they went. Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour and did likewise. And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing idle, and said to them, “Why have you been standing here idle all day?” They said to him, “Because no one hired us.” He said to them, “You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right, you will receive.” So when evening had come, the owner of the vineyard said to his steward, “Call the laborers and give them their wages, beginning with the last to the first”‘ And when those came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they each received a denarius. But when the first came, they supposed that they would receive more, and they likewise received each a denarius. And when they had received it, they complained against the landowner. (Matthew 20:1-11)

At the beginning of this passage, those who were hired early in the morning agreed with the landowner to work for one denarius a day. But when the landowner hired more laborers that afternoon, and paid them the same, the ones that were hired first became angry and started to complain. The parable says they complained against the landowner, “saying….” Complaining always involves saying something.

Do you remember what the Word says about the Hebrew children when they wandered in the wilderness? Whenever they felt the least amount of discomfort, they grumbled and complained. And when God heard their words, He was angry with them. (Exodus 16.)

It may come as a shock to you, but God hears everything we say. There is nothing hidden from Him. Hebrews 4:13 says, “There is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.”

When they all received their pay, the first ones hired complained to the landowner, saying, “These last men have only worked an hour, and you made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the heat of the day.” The real problem arose when the laborers who were hired early in the day compared themselves to the others. If those who were hired late in the day had received a lesser wage, those who had worked all day would not have had a reason to complain. But when they realized everyone received the same wage, regardless of the number of hours worked, they grumbled and complained. The equal treatment they were given made them angry.

How did the landowner respond to their complaints? He answered one of them and said, “Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? Take what is yours and go your way. I wish to give to this last man the same as you. Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things? Or is your eye evil because I’m good?” (Matthew 20:13-15)

In New Testament times, the phrase “evil eye” was a colloquialism, or idiom, of the day. Back then, when someone said you had an evil eye, they meant you were tight or stingy. Therefore, Jesus was speaking about the greed and stinginess of the workers who complained. What Jesus said carried this implication: “Are you angry because I’m generous?” Then He concluded with this astounding statement: “The last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen” (v. 16).

Do you remember the scripture we used in several of our latest devotionals? Salvation belongeth unto the Lord (Psalm 3:8). We should never be envious or jealous when God decides to bless someone. In fact, we should all rejoice!!!


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