It was the better part of a century ago that a minimum wage was introduced in the United States on a national level. That minimum wage started out in 1938 at a whopping $0.25/hour. It has increased over the years until it stands today at $7.25/hour. The minimum wage in Missouri recently increased to $9.45/hour (which still leaves us more than $2/hour under the national average, but a whole lot better than some). Putting aside all debates regarding pros, cons, and political philosophies, I think we can all agree that it would be great if a minimum wage wasn’t necessary, for in such a world all should be compensated fairly and liberally for their labors.
Unfortunately, that is not the reality of our world. We have come to expect differing wages, and again unfortunately, we have come to expect different expectations based upon those differing wages. For some people, they might not be able to afford to do their “dream job” because of the lower wages offered, but for many people, those jobs offering only minimum wages are looked upon as undesirable. And again, unfortunately, many of those jobs are viewed as having lower expectations.
So let’s ask a couple of private questions. At your job, are you paid what you are worth, and are you worth what you are paid? You certainly don’t have to answer those questions out loud. Now think of your “wages” in the kingdom of God, knowing that Paul says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). If we ask if we’re being “paid” what we are worth, the answer most certainly is “no.” And now what if we were to ask, are we worth what we are being “paid” by God? If God had a pay scale, where should we be placed? Based on our worth to Him, would we be on minimum wage?
Going back a few verses in Romans 6, Paul had said, “But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered” (verse 17). God can be thanked that we have been given the gift of eternal life! God can be thanked that we are saved by His grace through obedience to the gospel! God can be thanked that His minimum wage is salvation from our sins!
Are we worth what God is giving us? Probably not. But that should be motivation enough to cause us to long that much diligently for the crown of life He has promised to those who love Him (James 1:12).