Equality, Equity and Justice

Sunday Reading – September 20th

We have seen Equality and Equity as key issues amid the pandemic and in recent years. Now that I am working in a public sector, I have had more visibility with this topic with all the programs and symposiums available in my workplace.

It is why it was interesting to me how this topic is discussed in the September 20th Gospel Reading where we see a rich landowner hiring laborers for his vineyard and later giving them equal pay at the end of the day.

10 So when the first came, they thought that they would receive more, but each of them also got the usual wage.
11 And on receiving it they grumbled against the landowner, saying,
12 “These last ones worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us, …”

Matthew 20:1-16 – Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard

It is a typical human desire to get credit for the work people put in, or our worldview of fairness as written in the Harvard Business Review article below.

How to respond when someone takes credit for your work

But as we can see, God has a radically different view about equality, and this as evidenced in the different verses in the Bible.

For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.

Luke 14:11 – Parable of the Guests

The Bible even mentions the motivations behind why we have wars and dissensions and how we convince ourselves on what we are entitled to and what we consider as rights instead of privileges.

1 What causes fights and quarrels among you?
Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?

2 You desire but do not have, so you kill.
You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight.
You do not have because you do not ask God.

James 4:1-2 – Submit Yourselves to God

What we see as giving equality and having equity is God’s Justice in display in the image below. God did not just give the laborer’s day wage but rather removed barrier to enable each one to work in his vineyard that we call earth.

To God, we should not be idle but rather become productive and humbly accept our role as we all work together in whatever field we tend to.

Image Source: Reddit

To conclude, we should ask ourselves the question posed by the landowner on his generosity and how he can dispense his resources as he pleases.

“Are you envious because I am generous?”
Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last.

Matthew 20:!6

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD.

Isaiah 55:8

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