In the opening chapters of Mosiah, we learn some very valuable teachings from the humble, obedient King Benjamin. There are his often-cited discourses on service, being sons and daughters of Christ, and putting off the “natural man”. Each of these lessons merits the time to read and ponder upon Benjamin’s powerful words, and I would encourage you to do so. However, there was yet another lesson that resonated between my ears this time around. In the fourth chapter, besides my wife’s favorite scripture (Mosiah 4:9), I found a verse – actually a word – that caused me to ponder more than I did upon the other verses.
In verse 13, King Benjamin said, “And ye will not have a mind to injure one another, but to live peaceably, and to render to every man according to that which is his due.” This week, the word “due” has caused me to think quite a bit. Initially, I felt that the scripture meant that if I would simply continue to perform well at work, I should eventually be paid as much as I feel that I deserve. Unfortunately, “my due” may not yet “be due”, although it certainly seems to be “overdue.”.
In baseball – the greatest sport ever! – if a batter “is due”, then according to the generally accepted percentages in the statistics of the game, he should get a base hit in this very at bat. A pregnant woman is given a “due date” for the anticipated birth of her new baby. A book is “overdue” after it has been retained beyond the return date determined by the library. A bill is “past due” if it wasn’t paid by the agreed-upon date. We pay “dues” to belong to a club or organization.
In the above examples, “due” can be subjective, against the odds, or it may even be precise. So, then, was King Benjamin speaking in the subjective form, or was he being quite precise? Was he speaking to the employee, or was he speaking to the employer? I think that the answer to all four of these questions is the same – “Yes!” So, in order for us to be rendered our due, we certainly need to be worth our due. Even if we feel that we’ve been paid less than our due on this Earth, it is a great comfort to know that we will at last be rendered our due when we are brought to that great day of judgement in front of the bar of Christ. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if He were to also render judgement on our behalf during our mortality? Then maybe we would finally be treated fairly – if that’s indeed what we want. Am I truly worth my due?