Tuesday, November 08, 2016

"The Paperboy"

James 5.4 NASB

“Behold, the pay of the laborers who mowed your fields, and which has been withheld by you, cries out against you; and the outcry of those who did the harvesting has reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth.”

My first real job was a paper route when I was 14 years old. I delivered the daily and Sunday Seattle Post Intelligencer picking up my stack of newspapers at 5:00 a.m. each dark morning in front of Gov Mart Bazaar at NE 130th and Aurora Avenue. In those days it was not enough to deliver the paper. The aspiring young business man had to “collect” as well. At the end of the month I would retrace my paper route steps in the afternoons and knock on every customer’s door. “Hi. I’m here to collect for the P.I.”

Most people paid me so I could cover my newspaper charges and keep a couple of bucks for myself. Occasionally, however, a voice from the back of the apartment bellowed, “Who is it?” “It’s the paperboy. He’s here to collect.” Then, a kick-to-the-stomach with the dreaded words: “Tell him to come back tomorrow.”

“Tomorrow” never came for some of these people. Oh, I’d come back “tomorrow” and the next day, and the day after that. But the guy with the money wasn’t home, pretended not to be, didn’t answer the door, or moved away forgetting to cancel the paper and pay me. That hurt. I made a promise and kept it religiously for the past 48 years. I vowed I would NEVER send a paperboy away empty handed when he came to “collect.” I’d borrow the money from a neighbor if I had to, but no paperboy would EVER have to return to my home to get his money.

Paperboys don’t come by anymore. I pay for the Oregonian with an automated check online and the simple push of a computer button, just like almost every other bill. But the memory of the income I deserved and never received helped shape my attitude and behavior toward all vendors, business people, employees, and contractors.

“A laborer is worthy of his wages.”
Jesus, Luke 10.7

Questions come to mind. Am I current? Or, have I withheld what is rightly deserved? The Bible says, “Owe no one anything, except to love each other (Romans 13.8 ESV). In the name of Jesus and His love, do I owe someone...
  • a smile?
  • an apology?
  • a phone call?
  • a return email?
  • a date?
  • some money?
  • quality time?
  • an explanation?
  • a cup of coffee?
  • a thank you?
  • a kiss?
  • an affirmation?
  • a warm embrace?
  • a listening ear?
  • a note card or letter?
  • a favor?
  • some public recognition?
  • a small chore?
  • a tool I borrowed?
  • a promise I forgot to keep?
Did I send them away when they tried to “collect?” The Bible makes a personal guarantee…

“…the pay… which has been withheld by you, cries out against you;
and the outcry… has reached the ears of the Lord…”

The only way to silence their outcry and put a smile back on God’s face. In the name of Jesus and for the love of God... pay what you owe.


Anonymous said...

We've all heard how Walmart in recent months required many employees to put in time without pay. But do people realize how much extra time administrators, teachers and classified staff in our public schools routinely donate to their jobs? For salaried, this is expected; but for classified, who are paid by the hour, it is not expected but is necessary, in order to do the job well. Jesus has asked that whatever we do, we do it as unto Him. To do my job thoroughly demands that I donate about 10 to 15 extra hours weekly, without pay. What I pray for our political leaders, in part, is that they will realize what is needed in order for us to do our jobs well, and will provide the compensation we deserve in exchange for our donated time. In the meantime, we can trust God to supply our needs, and can exercise the discipline of being content in our work situations, even when not justly compensated. - Trena Gravem

Dave's Bible Blog said...

Hi Trena,

Great insights. I believe someone will be blessed by your thoughts. Thank you for putting your comments on the blog. I will see you Sunday morning at the 11:00 group.

God Bless,