We all want blessings. Who doesn’t? These blessings might include a career breakthrough, a job that would sufficiently support our family, a house, an eternal companion, a child, a car, or employment, among many others.
We work hard to receive these blessings but sometimes, no matter how hard we try, they seem to be so unreachable. We may wonder why others around us receive these blessings when we have worked so hard or seem to be more deserving. Sometimes, we even find it hard to be happy for them. Our hearts call for justice. But is there really an injustice when others receive the blessings we desire? Or when others receive more than we do?
The Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard is a parable taught by Jesus that addresses this question. The parable is about a householder who hired laborers into his vineyard. He hired the first batch of laborers during the first hour. As the day progressed, he hired more laborers. When the labor of the day was over, the householder compensated each one of them with the same amount regardless of what time of day they were hired to work.
Does this story ring a familiar bell? If we were hired during the first hour and worked for 8 hours and received the same compensation which the laborers received for working an hour, what would we feel? Anger? Injustice? Unfairness? In the parable, the laborers who were hired during the first hour agreed to be paid a penny for a day’s work. So there really wasn’t an injustice. But even if it was so, they were angry and failed to be happy for the fortune that the other laborers received. Did they receive less because the others received a penny for less than 8 hours of work? No. Their compensation was not diminished.
There will be times in our lives when we notice that others are blessed with more—more talents, riches, abilities, career advancement, etc. We cannot escape from this reality. But we can escape feeling envy “that requires us to suffer all good fortune that befalls everyone we know!” So how do we escape? Elder Jeffrey R. Holland shared this counsel, “We are not diminished when someone else is added upon.” Others receiving more, does not make us less of who we are, less loved by God, or less fortunate.
These experiences teach us to appreciate what we have been given, count our blessings, trust more and wait upon the Lord’s timing, and to have faith and hope for brighter days to come. They also teach us how to to overcome selfishness and be able to rejoice and celebrate the good fortune of others.
Heavenly Father loves us and He has promised to bless us, even with all that He has, if only we do our best to be like Him. Dwelling on envious feelings towards others doesn’t bring us closer to His presence. The blessings that we desire to have in this life are but a small percentage of what awaits us in His kingdom. So let us not weary ourselves too much on the blessings we so desire to receive. If we remain faithful and trust in the Lord, all the blessings that we righteously desire will be given us, yea, even all that He has.
Thanks for sharing this Chona! You should do this more often, it really helps!