Is it greedy to ask for more money for doing my job?
The Bible says that a laborer deserves to be paid (1 Tim. 5:18, Luke 10:7). It is thus not greedy to expect to be compensated appropriately for the work that we do. If we have specific experience and talents, then asking to be paid for those is a way to recognize these good gifts God has given us and invite others to recognize them as well. If we have paid to learn skills, such as by going to university or college, we can reasonably ask for more so that we can pay back debts. Last of all, we can ask to be paid a living wage—enough to pay for food, housing, and other necessary expenses.
Yet the Bible also cautions us not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought (Rom. 12:3). Recognizing the gifts God has given us is different than thinking we are better or deserve more than others. We should consider what our peers are making, whether that be others in the same organization, others with similar jobs and experience, or others living in a similar location. Sometimes asking for more money for a job includes opening up a conversation about how much everyone is being paid. It is not good if I am paid well but some of my coworkers are not, especially when minorities and women are still often paid less than their peers.
Sometimes we are asked to work for less than we deserve or even for free. Talking with those with more experience than us can help us see whether this is wise, including whether everyone’s contribution, big or small, is being valued. Talking with those in the organization about how much we are getting paid can lead to God showing us new ways to save and use money. God delights in who we are; it is good and fitting to expect others also to delight in that, even as we all strive together to “advocate meaningful work and fair wages for all” (Our World Belongs to God, 48).
About the Author
Brenda Kronemeijer-Heyink is the CRC chaplain at the University of Toronto. She attends Willowdale CRC in Toronto, Ont.