Paying Your Dues :: by Grant Phillips

After fifty years in the work force, and a good part of those years in management, I have learned a lot about paying ones dues. My first job was taking shipping boxes out back of the store where I worked at that time and disposing of them, carrying out customers’ groceries and stocking shelves. I don’t recall any particular title, unless it was New Flunky in Training.

I retired two years ago from a position that was definitely in line with “the buck stops here.” It took a long time to get there, and believe me, I paid my dues.

Since retiring two years ago, I have moved even further up the ladder, domestic in this case. I am now Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Waste Management with an honorary degree of Sanitation Engineer. There are no employees, except me. There are no customers, unless you could call two cats, and my wife and I customers. The Mrs. tells me that this is a very important position with a snappy job title, and I’m doing a great job. Personally, I think I’ve been had. We call it in this neck of the woods, “snookered.”  I know it doesn’t comply literally with the actual definition, but that’s what we call it. Go figure.

Anyway, during my working years I quickly discovered that as the years rolled by the employee crop kept getting younger. The younger it got, something started jumping out at me. Now remember, I had been in management for a long time. I have hired many people over all those years. The thing that became so obvious to me was that, generally speaking, the younger the prospective employee, the more I noticed they had an attitude of wanting to start at the top of the corporate ladder and work up. Yes, you heard me right.

Now most of us have had to start at the bottom, and over many years, work our way up to a better employment position; i.e. greater responsibility, higher pay, and better benefits. Not so with this new breed coming up. Remember, I’m speaking in general terms. Not all of the young crowd have that attitude, but many of them do.

I often see things in my life that could have a spiritual comparison, and this is certainly the case here when we talk about paying our dues.

In the business world it is generally expected that an employee will pay their dues before any advancement is offered by their employer. I know there are many exceptions, but most of us understand what I’m saying because we have been there.

I hate for this to sound crude, but I must use this analogy to get my point across. So here goes, and I certainly mean no disrespect toward our Lord.

When we apply for a job (seeking salvation) with God (employer) we can start at the top the first day because our dues have all been paid by God’s Son, Jesus Christ. We don’t start at the bottom and spend many years working for that top position. We are immediately given the position of a child of God.

“For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” (Romans 8:15)

“To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.” (Galatians 4:5)

“Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,” (Ephesians 1:5)

Jesus, the natural Son, has provided us, the adopted child, the highest position possible, even higher than the angels. “Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?” (1 Corinthians 6:3) The benefits are out of this world (pardon the pun).

As far as the pay goes, our Father in Heaven pays us with riches that will never rust or decay, a dwelling place made of the finest materials that never wear out. (Revelation 22 and 22) His health insurance plan is fantastic! We just don’t ever get sick. We don’t even die. We live forever. I’ve already touched on the retirement plan when saying “we live forever,” but get this. Jesus is preparing us a special place to live with Him for eternity. We aren’t waiting to get more and more feeble and sign up for the nursing home and there is no need to get our funeral arrangement in order. Our health is always perfect and it never ends. There are no funeral homes or grave yards. They aren’t needed.

“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)

To be a good employee on earth, we need to pay our dues. However, God will not accept anything we have to offer if we want to be on His payroll (His child). The Son of God is the only one who qualifies to meet all the requirements for employment (new birth).

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

To be in God the Father’s family (hired) we must apply with a blank resume. To advance in God the Father’s family (perfection) we must accept God the Son’s work and throw ours in the trash. That’s the condition. No dues from us. Only the dues paid by His Son are acceptable. If we accept those terms, we are hired (born again). If we cannot accept those terms, we can never be part of the family of God. We will be ushered out of his office (presence) and remain a prisoner of works, which God’s nemesis (Satan) will accept. He’ll help us work ourselves right into hell.

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6)

“Nothing in life is free” is a quote I’ve heard many times. I’m sure you have too. We all pay our dues as we fulfill our destiny in this world, but the quote isn’t entirely true. The one thing in life that is free, at least to us, is the gift of salvation offered by Jesus Christ. It cannot be bought or earned in any way. Forget the dues.

As Jesus knocks at your heart’s door with His nail-scarred hand, He is offering a gift from His Father that He paid for. It is free to all who will simply trust Him and let Him in.


Grant Phillips