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Pay Fair Wages to People Who Help You

  • 2002 30 Jul
Pay Fair Wages to People Who Help You
Whether we have hired people to help us make a profit or to help us with a household chore, Scripture tells us to pay hired laborers at the appointed time - even at the end of their day's work if they need it. Failure to pay a person his or her full earned wages at the proper time puts us under God's judgment, for we are not only violating the rights and needs of another person but we are thwarting the mechanism God has put in place for that person's provision.

God will see to it that there is a payday someday, both for those who labor and for those who take advantage of or devalue the labors of others, no matter who they are. Read Colossians 3:25 and 4:1. What is the obligation of masters, and what are the consequences of their treating badly those who are under their care? ...

Scripture assures us that we will receive, at minimum, fair wages for our work, both on earth and as an eternal reward. But God is free to give us even more than we've earned, and He can distribute excess gifts as He pleases.

If we calculate compensation according to the value of our labor, then we would all be impoverished. Yet God's provisions exceed all that we could ask or think (Ephesians 3:20). If we would reflect Christ, then, we too must freely and generously reward those whose labors we employ.

Bringing it home
1. If you are in a position to employ other people directly, how do you (or your company) determine the salaries of those under your care? By asking (a) "How much can I (we) pay them and still earn a reasonable profit margin?" or (b) "How little can we pay them without losing them to competitors?" If (b), what are you going to do to fix the problem?

2. Think of those who perform services for you personally. How fairly do you pay the one who mows your lawn or cleans your house? How generous are you with tips? Do you ask people to lower their reasonable fees to accommodate your finances? Mentally trade places with the person you are employing. How would you want to be treated? If you have a genuine need (such as car repair or medical attention) and cannot afford to pay a fair and just wage for those services, ask God to supply the money you need to that you can honor Him in the area of wages.

3. There is no objective basis nor biblical support for valuing one person's skill over another's. Ask God to remove the culture's value system from your thinking and to give you His perspective. Follow through by paying fair wages to those who provide personal or professional services to you.

Excerpted from Wisdom at Work: A Biblical Approach to the Workplace, copyright 2000 by Kenneth Boa and Gail Lee Burnett. Used by permission of NavPress, Colorado Springs, Co., For copies of the book, call 1-800-366-7788.

Dr. Kenneth Boa is the president of Reflections Ministries, an organization that seeks to provide safe places for people to consider the claims of Christ. He has authored more than a dozen books and is a contributing editor to several Bible versions. He is president of Trinity House Publishers and resides in Alpharetta, Ga. Gail Burnett has been writing in the science and technology community for more than fifteen years and has been teaching adult Bible courses for almost as long.

What struggles do you face when figuring out how much to pay people who provide services to you, whether they're employees in a company you own or waiters you tip in a restaurant? Would you consider your payments generous? Why or why not? Visit Crosswalk's forums to discuss this topic by clicking on the link below.