Do you remember your first job? My first job was at Wendy’s. My favorite part was every two weeks when I would get paid. The first check seemed to take the longest because I had to work two weeks before getting the check. That felt like the longest two weeks. At 17, I hadn’t completely learned the process of work then get paid. Oh, how I have learned it since! Every day I would clock in and work my shift and then go home. I did that for 10 days and couldn’t wait for payday. When I opened the envelope I was, as many have been, surprised at how much was taken out before it got to me. I didn’t really care because I had money. For the first time, I had money I had earned without the help of my parents. It was a glorious feeling of freedom and maturity. I took my girlfriend out to dinner and movie that next day to celebrate!!
Getting paid is a common occurrence though we may not consider it often. We receive wages for everything we do.
- Money is the most common way of getting paid. We work and we receive money for our efforts. This one is obvious.
- Pain is not a pleasant consideration. However, the wages for our actions come in many forms. Depending on what your actions include, pain is quite possibly what you will get paid. The poor relationship and the choices involved leave emotional scarring that can take years to remove.
- Guilt and shame are also two forms of payment. The sin that so easily entangles us will pay you in this way. God created us to live for Him. When we sin, and we all do, we fall short of God’s glorious purpose for our lives. Guilt and shame leave their mark on our hearts and minds. While this is a form of pain, it is vastly different. These wages lead to alcoholism, abuse, cutting, and more. We fight to feel alive because the wages of sin are death.
- Peace and joy come to those who follow after God and invite the Holy Spirit’s influence in and over their lives. This is a gift of God given toward you as payment for faith. Once you were at war with God, but now peace has come. These are the best checks!
- Cleanness is one way of speaking about sanctification. Our scripture teaches that this is the wage you earn when living by God’s standards.
We all receive wages for every action. You have the choice to make as to which ones you desire to earn. God does not force you either way but leaves the choice up to you. I have earned from both sides. I assure you that God’s wages are much more beneficial and long-lasting!
20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free from allegiance to righteousness. 21 So what fruit was produced then from the things you are now ashamed of? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now, since you have been liberated from sin and have become enslaved to God, you have your fruit, which results in sanctification —and the end is eternal life! 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 6:20-23