James 5:4 – “Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.”
A hard-working Irishman, asking for a well-deserved raise, was put off by his boss who was known to be the town skinflint. “Pat, he said, “you really don’t work as hard as you say. And I can prove it to you. There are 365 days in a year. You sleep 8 hours every day, making 122 days. Subtracted from 365, that leaves 243 days. You also have 8 hours every day for recreation and taking care of your family, which makes another 122 days. That leaves a balance of 121 days. Then, too, there are 52 Sundays; deducting these leaves 69 days. As you know, our office is closed every Saturday afternoon, giving 52 half-holidays or 26 more days that you do not work. This leaves a balance of only 43 days. Also, we allow you one hour for lunch, which over the year makes 16 days, leaving 27 days. We give you 2 weeks vacation; that leaves only 13 days. Also, there are 12 legal holidays each year, leaving only one day; and if you add up all your coffee breaks, you will see that you probably owe me money!”
Poor Pat, not having heard the old adage, “Figures don’t lie, but liars can figure,” hastily returned to his workbench, fearing he might not even get his regular paycheck.
That story, of course, is just a bit of fiction, yet it reminds us that some employers seek by every means, fair and foul, to keep back from their employees a wage that is equitable. The Bible makes it clear that “the laborer is worthy of his hire!” Those who greedily “shortchange” their help are guilty of fraud. If you are a Christian, be sure that you are doing the right thing for your employees so that you may have the full blessing of the Lord!