Your Agreement, Your Assignment

The Kingdom Key of First & Last

BY REV. DORAL PULLEY, Today’s Church Tampa Bay

READ | Matthew 20:1-17

“Study to be quiet, to do your own business and to work with your own hands (I Thessalonians 4:11).”

In today’s work world, we are familiar with people working different shifts. For example, in most hospitals and other 24-hour businesses, people work either 7:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. (first shift), 3:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. (second shift) or 11:00 p.m. – 7:00 a.m. (third shift). Sometimes those who work overnight may get additional pay for night differential. Unless they are salaried employees, people are paid according to the number of hours that they work.

In this parable, Jesus illustrates that the Kingdom operates according to a unique management style with policies and procedures that are different from this world’s system. This manager had a lot of work that needed to be done. He hired various people at various times of the day. The first shift was 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. The second shift was 12 noon – 6:00 p.m. The third shift was 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. The last shift was from 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

The last shift only worked an hour. They were not paid according to the number of hours that they worked. They were paid according to what they agreed. They all received the same penny because they all agreed to it. The other ironic aspect about this story is the people who worked the least amount of time, an hour, received their pay first.

Like many of us, the workers thought that it was unfair that they all received the same pay. They also thought that it was unjust for the people who worked the least amount of time to be paid first. The manager encouraged them to let go of comparisons and judgment. “Do not be a busybody in other people’s affairs (I Peter 4:15).”

Stay focused on your assignment and your agreement with God. Do not allow the actions or inactivity of others to distract you. You do not know what their assignment is. Do not let yourself be discouraged by how others are being rewarded for their service. You do not know what their agreement is.

Rev. Doral Pulley is the senior pastor of Today’s Church Tampa Bay, 940 5th Ave. S, St. Petersburg (Staybridge Suites) and 5107 North Central Ave., Tampa.

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