In the book The Noticer, by Andy Anderson, he talks about a perspective. No matter what the situation, he is able to come up with a different perspective. That is how I felt when I read the parable today. I kept thinking, “Wow, I never saw that perspective before. How did I miss that?” Here is what I learned today.
If I change the characters, God is the owner of the vineyard, the workers are you and I, and the vineyard is heaven, then the parable makes sense. Some of us have been Christians all of our life. Others, like myself, took the long road to become Christians. No matter when or how we become Christians, we should be able to end up in heaven. The problem in this parable is that those lifelong Christians desire a better reward than those with the colorful past who came in at the last minute. After all, why would they want to share their heaven with those sinners who wasted their life? (This applies to me too.)
Because I am a late bloomer or whatever you want to call me, this parable brings a refreshing and encouraging perspective for the following reasons.
*Admission into heaven is not based on our works or length of service as a Christian.
*Our good works are a result of the changes Christ has made in us, not because God keeps score or writes tally marks in the clouds.
*We are all sinners saved by grace. Christ paid the price for anyone who is willing to accept His sacrifice of salvation and redemption.
*When I compare my works to the works of another, I let my ego take over.
*When my ego takes over, I become jealous of the blessings and abilities of another person.
*When I become jealous, I become the judge and jury with an imperfect scale.
*When I am the judge and jury, I am blinded to the blessings and works Christ has done for me and in me.
*When I focus on another person’s gifts, blessings or works, I am telling Christ that He didn’t do enough and what He has given me isn’t good enough.
I could continue to add to this list, but I don’t feel it is necessary. As for me, I have always felt guilty because I came to Jesus the long hard way. Today’s parable tells me that none of that matters because I am loved and accepted by the owner of the vineyard.