Greed is Unfair

When Jesus had finished speaking, a Pharisee invited him to eat with him; so he went in and reclined at the table.  But the Pharisee was surprised when he noticed that Jesus did not first wash before the meal.
Then the Lord said to him, “Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness.  You foolish people!  Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also?  But now as for what is inside you—be generous to the poor, and everything will be clean for you.
“Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God.  You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone.
“Woe to you Pharisees, because you love the most important seats in the synagogues and respectful greetings in the marketplaces.
“Woe to you, because you are like unmarked graves, which people walk over without knowing it.”
One of the experts in the law answered him, “Teacher, when you say these things, you insult us also.”
Jesus replied, “And you experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them.

  • Luke 11:37-46

What is striking about this Scripture above is that Jesus accepts an invitation and then hurls insulting “woes” upon His host.  Were the “woes” justified?  Indeed, they were, and Jesus had no trouble biting the hand that fed Him.  At least, fed Him that one meal.  He probably did not get invited back, but there is always hope of repentance.  Also in this Scripture, there is a distinction made between the Pharisees and the experts in the Law.  One of the experts complained that Jesus’ cursing of the Pharisees also insulted him.  The “woes” against the experts then commenced and continued beyond what is copied here.

But the reason for copying this Scripture is near the beginning, the first woe.  The Pharisees were full of greed and wickedness.  The two go together, greed and wickedness.

The more I have written in the past three plus years, I have discovered that there was a reason for never getting promoted in the civilian world.  I did the work without the promotion, and the boss saw no need to promote me.  I could leave, but they would try to find the next miracle worker to take my place.  It was almost as if they were saying, “Find another job, if you can.  I dare you.”

And as I got older, I found countless other jobs, at entry level wages and an astounding pay cut, sometimes with more expected of me.  More greed, getting experienced employees and not paying them for the experience.

But during some of those years, I worked with maintenance foremen.  One or two of the 30-40 or more foremen over the years were glad to be out of the rain and snow, doing office work, but almost all of them lamented the lack of overtime pay.  They worked the same hours that the others worked, but their mindset was that after the first eight hours, they were not being paid while their workers got a fifty percent pay raise until the work was completed that evening.  I had always been salaried, but upon becoming salaried, these foremen had taken a pay cut.  The lure of an office job, until you supervise people in the field, carried the biggest pay raise they had ever seen, but the lack of ever making overtime pay, never again, far outweighed the pay raise.

Why did these people not get an even greater pay raise?  The bosses crunched the numbers.  Their greed took over.  And as they say, “No good deed goes unpunished.”  The bosses punished their best workers and allowed the average workers to make more money while they fumbled and stumbled fixing something in ten hours what would have taken their boss six hours to do.

Why did this topic come up, along with the lead-in topic yesterday?  My wife has done what she always does when she enters a new chapter of her life.  She went into the dialysis center and got to know every nurse, really know them.  She has met a few of the other patients, but they provide privacy screens for patients.  She cannot see too many other patients, and then seeing them behind the COVID required masks.

One of these nurses took a “pay cut” recently.  She had been the lead nurse, a salaried position, but when the other nurses left at the end of the shift, she could not leave until the paperwork was finished.  There were countless evening meals that she missed with her family, because a dialysis machine broke down and she had to fill out the maintenance request or a patient had a problem during dialysis and she had to write a detailed report to the doctor.  If she had just been one of the nurses on the shift doing all this overtime paperwork, she would have enough money to fly around the world – several times – but she had become salaried when she was made the lead nurse.  She wanted time with her family.  She and her husband crunched the numbers and decided they could survive with a pay cut, back to being an hourly nurse.

And over the years, we have met countless hourly paid nurses who worked the system.  Some craved days off.  Others craved a little more cash in their pockets, volunteering for every available overtime shift.

And we have met countless nurses that got promoted to the desk job, still dealing with patients, but usually the difficult patients that the assigned nurse needed help with.  And after a patient becomes combative, there was a lot of paperwork.  Some of these nurses spent an entire additional shift doing the paperwork, that is, after their bloody nose was fixed and the swelling from the black eye went down.

The old saying about all that glitters applies.  If someone is offering something that glitters, examine it carefully.  They have crunched the numbers and they have figured out how much more profit they are about to make.  You should too.

And as 1 Timothy 6:10 states, For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.  Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.

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