God's word in today's world

Payment for your labour

A friend was telling me about some major projects his children were working on. He described the challenges the young men were facing. A big company has been holding back a heap of money due to them for two months.

This gives me the heebie jeebies, because I can still remember from my days in the business world how bigger businesses would use smaller businesses as banks and without paying interest, would “borrow” money without permission. Many businesses fail because of this.

As my friend turned around to leave, he asked me to pray for his children, and added: “I know God is with us and will help us. I don’t know the exact scripture, but the Bible does say a worker deserves his pay.”

And amazingly, that is the exact scripture that I studied the next morning: … For the Scriptures say, “Never tie up the mouth of an ox when it is treading out the grain—let him eat as he goes along!” And in another place, “Those who work deserve their pay!” (Living Bible). Or as the Message puts it: 18Scripture tells us, “Don’t muzzle a working ox” and “A worker deserves his pay.”

How far will you progress with ploughing your fields with an ox when you don’t feed it? After the second day it will have no energy and your fields will remain unploughed. You have to look after an animal that works for you.

Even more so we should take good care of the people who work for us! If your employees do their bit, you must do yours and pay them even better. So many people look for another job because they are poorly paid. And often, when they receive a better offer, the boss suddenly comes with a counter offer.

I always tell people not to accept that counter offer, because that boss has paid you poorly for how many years; so how long will it take him or her to again start paying you below what you’re worth?

Pay people what they are worth and more.

My wife has appointed a number of domestic workers. Probably because she has high standards. Then we found Precious from Africa, and yes, she is precious to us. Now it is our responsibility to pay her a market-related salary. Her salary must show her how much we appreciate her and recognise how hard she works.

This part in 1 Timothy also covers the leaders in the church. The previous verse says: 17Give a bonus to leaders who do a good job, especially the ones who work hard at preaching and teaching. Therefore, the leaders are also entitled to be paid for the work they do.

Let’s all work hard, to make it worth it. Let our bosses look for ways to reward us even more. And if they don’t do it, stand up for your rights so that you are paid honestly for your labour.

If you employ someone who does good work, don’t regret it later when they go and look for greener pastures. Make sure that they enjoy working for you so much that they will continue working for you with joy in their hearts.


1 Timothy 5:17-22


Do you earn what you are worth?
Do you pay your employees what they are worth?
Do you have to make an adjustment somewhere?


Father, thank you for confirming that I too am entitled to earn what I’m worth. Please help me to always do my best. And please help me to reward those who work for me above what they expect. Amen.

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