13 “But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? 14 Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. 15 Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ Matthew 20:13-15
When Rich and I were in college one summer, Rich asked me if I wanted to go to mall with him and get something to eat. Knowing that there were very few people on campus during the summer and that I didn’t have a car, I didn’t think much of the invitation.
Rich was known for his generosity and giving, helpful nature, so I assumed that since he was already going to the mall he just wanted to check and see if I wanted to tag along. As we drove to the store, we had a nice conversation about our families. Then we walked around the mall for a little bit continuing our conversation, after a little while he asked if I would like to stop at the food court. Since it was past dinner time and I hadn’t eaten, I thought that would be a great idea. We both ordered some pizza and when I went to pay for mine, Rich generously said not to worry about it he would take care of the bill. I know what you are all thinking, but since I was such a naive individual, I never really thought anything about this. I have seen Rich many times throughout the year offering to pay for people, we were all college students and never had much money, yet Rich generously paid for people all the time because that was just the kind of guy he was.
As we were driving back to the college, Rich said to me “I really enjoyed our date tonight and I love getting to know more about you and your family. If you don’t mind I would like to take you out again sometime so we can keep getting to know one another better.”
My response…….“You mean I was on my first date? And I missed it!”
I was 19 years old, I never had been on a date and as much as I longed to be in a relationship with someone it never seemed to happen. Now here I was having my first date and I wasn’t even aware that I was on a date.
I laugh at this story with my family as we reminisce about the past. However something I have noticed over the 24 years we have been married, is that my husband is a tremendously generous person. 99% of the time I love this about him, however I am ashamed to say that every once in while I have this twinge of uneasiness about his generosity. Because sometimes I worry that his generosity may hurt us financially.
But then I read verses like the one above. I am reminded that when I entered this relationship with Rich I was fully aware of who he was and what a generous, giving, sacrificing individual he was. He cared about people. He had a heart that wanted to reach out to others and do whatever he could for them. He had a love for helping those that were down and out. He had a gift from God that can not be explained but can be seen if you know my husband you could just see, how his light shines for Jesus everyday as he reaches out to others.
In the parable in Matthew 20 we see people being willing to work for a denarius. They fully knew what they were getting into when they agreed to work for the wage that they agreed upon. Yet they became very upset when others came and worked later in the day and received the same amount.
I hope I am not like that, and most of the time I can honestly say I am not like that, but occasionally I have found myself feeling frustrated with something I love very much about my husband. His generosity. How about you? Do you look at your husband, friend, parent, child and see amazing qualities about them and then later judge them for those same qualities?
When we enter into an agreement with our boss, husband, family member, or friend do we later turn and feel frustrated when that person is doing exactly what they said they would do? Expecting them to be different in some way, to do more, or expect more from them?
I am thankful for my husband and his generosity. His willing to give to others and help those who need help, his passion for caring and understand people and his zeal for reaching out to those that are hurting is a true gift from God.