John 10:13 The hired hand runs away because he’s working only for the money and doesn’t really care about the sheep.

There is a difference between an employee with a sense of ownership to their duties and one who functions solely as ‘a hired-hand’. The definition is literal, an extra pair of hands who takes up a role, not for the job in itself, but the monetary value it offers. For such a person, there is no heart, just the job.

If then there are any hurdles that challenge the smooth execution of this ‘job’ , they have no problem abandoning ship and walking off, albeit at the expense of their wages too. But to a hired hand, ‘damn the consequences’. Whether their actions result in a backlog, lead to fractured relationships, or even places others in harms way, none of it matters for they are just hired hands.

These words appear to describe the attitude of someone carefree, one who does not really care about what has been assigned to them. They may care, but not enough to offer any iota of protection. We are all probably saying ‘that is not us’, but a little reflection will reveal many moments when we ourselves have acted as ‘hired hands’.

However, this is neither a medium of chastisement nor rebuke, it is an invitation to claim a sense of ownership. Beloved, for each of the tasks assigned to us, perhaps we may not be required to literally lay down our lives, but we ought to have more than an expectation for the monetary returns. We need a real sense of ownership because we are not just ‘hired hands’, rather, we are labourers together with God’. That ought to count for something.


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