A hireling works for a wage. A son or daughter works for their inheritance.
Philippians 2:21(NLT) Paul says “ All the others care only for themselves and not for what matters to Jesus Christ.”
I believe what is so important in our Christian walk, is our motive and our attitude in following after Jesus Christ. I often hear people speaking about the sowing and reaping principle. If you sow a certain amount, you will reap a certain amount because God is a giver. That is a quite correct, but what saddens my heart is the motive of giving. We should not give in order to receive. We should give because we love.
A hireling will give a certain amount of money in order to receive a hundred fold back, because he knows that his master is generous. However, a son or daughter will just give, because they love their father and mother. In the process, God will always give them back a hundred fold because God is a giver. He is not a taker, the motive is so important. I would be mortified if I knew that my children were giving me something because they wanted something back. My children give me gifts because they love me, not because they are trying to earn “points”. That is the difference between a hireling and a son or daughter.
A hireling works according to the clock. He will knock off exactly on time. He will not work any longer, because he is working for a wage. If he does, he will be sure to put in his overtime. But a son doesn’t use a clock when he is working for his father, because he is working for his inheritance. Everything he does, he feels that he is investing into his father’s kingdom.
Many hirelings will follow Jesus as long as no adversities befall them, but if Jesus was to hide Himself away from them for a while, they would fall into dejection of mind and will leave Him, as happened in the Bible. A son will remain faithful even when his father is not there. A hireling, however, will sit down under a tree and have a rest as soon as the master drives out of the farm gate. A son will work hard whether his father is there or whether his father is not there, because he looks at that farm or enterprise as his own. That is what Jesus requires from you and I. We are to love Jesus for Himself and not for what we can get from Him. A dead giveaway with regard to one’s heart toward God is to hear a man pray. A hireling will pray like he is reading off a grocery list, give me, give me, give me. A son will pray like he is having a conversation with his dear father.
Hirelings are lovers of themselves. They are always thinking of themselves and there own personal profit and advantage. The defining moment comes in a Christian’s life when he reads Matthew 16:24, ‘Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be My follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, (which equals death to self) and follow me.’ We need to die to self. Our biggest enemy is not the devil, it is self. When we die to self, then we start to become sons of the living God, because we are no longer concerned about our own well being, but we are concerned about the well being of our Master and His children. There is no man who is richer, no man more powerful, no man more free, than a man who has died to self. Simply because this world and everything in it has no more hold over him.