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We like being generous and freely serving others with the gifts God has given us. But a generous spirit doesn’t mean we don’t deserve to get paid. As the Scriptures say, don’t muzzle the ox to keep it from eating while it works.

To be sure, Christ teaches us plainly that those who work deserve their pay. But we often hesitate to stand on this teaching, particularly as we’re ministering to others. Somehow we understand the principle in the corporate world much better than in God’s kingdom.

And, to be fair, it is easy for pride to sneak in, and what we reasonably deserve quickly becomes a point of demand and entitlement. False humility then holds us back from setting reasonable expectations. But, like the ox, we too should be able to enjoy the fruit of our labor.

And this desire and expectation should not get twisted. Deserving pay for our work is not the same as working for pay. Our ultimate goal remains to simply do the work God has given us to do. Our goal is not merely to make money for its own sake. And we’ve missed the mark when this is the case. But an expectation to get paid is not making money an idol; it simply fulfills the basic law of the harvest – reaping what has been planted.

To be sure, we do ourselves and others a disservice whenever we neglect this principle. Without pay, workers will eventually stop working, which hinders the efforts to advance God’s kingdom of light. Of course, God’s work will still get done. But we miss our opportunity to fully partner with him when we don’t accept pay for our assignment, or pay others for theirs as well.

In the end, when you work, you deserve to get paid. This is not about the money, but simply following God’s principle to care for your soul even as you minister to others.

Photo by Aadil Imam Hussain on Unsplash

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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