Life Isn’t Fair And That Is A Good Thing
“Unfair, unfair” is a cry heard often from little siblings fighting over a favorite toy. One child feels that it is their turn to play with the toy, but the other child resists and then the ensuing fight with the battle cry of unfair.
But as we become adults the cry of unfair is heard loud and clear when there is perceived injustice. That injustice can be on a personal level, when someone got a promotion you believed was yours. We have also seen in recent years the unfair label plastered on entire groups.
Those unfair cries have to do often with people of different races believing they are being treated with bias and prejudice, and therefore keeps them on an unequal footing in society.
Where unfairness reigns whether in a sports outcome or in horrible injustice, something within all of us believes that fairness is the norm of life. While that is ideal, reality is that doesn’t happen on a consistent basis in the real world.
Sometimes the best way to cope is advice maybe a parent gave us when we were young. The advice goes something like this: “You know that life isn’t fair, so accept that reality, move on, and try to make the best of a bad situation.” Good advice and needed so we don’t become victims.
But lately I have come across some thinking related to our Christian faith, where unfairness is actually a good thing and makes an eternal difference. What is that good thing you say? It is our salvation!
When Jesus died on the cross, he did that as the innocent for the guilty. He was the innocent and we were the guilty. In other words, our sins deserve eternal punishment, but God loved us so much that he provided a way for us not to be found guilty. Look at Romans 5:8-11, “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s judgment. For since we were restored to friendship with God by the death of his Son while we were still enemies, we will certainly be delivered from eternal punishment by his life. So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God – all because of what our Lord Jesus Christ has done for us in making us friends of God.”
So what did we do to deserve such love and mercy? Nothing!! Absolutely nothing! In other words Christ dying on the cross on our behalf is unfair. It is unfair because we deserve eternal punishment because of our sins, but God’s unfairness becomes our eternal blessing. We get to have a personal relationship with the God of the universe, have His precious Holy Spirit live inside us, and for the ultimate, heaven as a final destination.
Let us put this in perspective. If the most evil person in the world repents of their sin before they die, they become a believer and you guessed it, end up in heaven. We know this by the thief on the cross who appeals to Jesus to be forgiven, and Jesus tells him that today this man will be with him in Paradise. Unfair, you bet, but it is a very good thing.
But judgmental people don’t like this theology. They believe that God should grade on a curve and that if you have been good all your life, then that should be commended. This grace thing, this belief that committing oneself to Jesus erases all of our wrongdoings, is not fair. They are right and thank God it is not fair.
In addition this good unfairness is replicated throughout our life. In the book of Genesis, Joseph is sold into slavery by his brothers because of their jealousy. UNFAIR! Then when sold to Potipher, a wealthy Egyptian, his wife makes sexual advances on Joseph. When he refuses her overtures, she lies to the servants and her husband to say Joseph attacked her, and he gets thrown into prison. UNFAIR!
While in prison he interprets dreams for two of Pharaoh’s servants, prophesying that the cupbearer would be restored to his position. Joseph adds for this guy to remember him. The cupbearer is restored, forgets about Joseph, and he languishes two more years in prison. Finally Pharaoh has dreams that no one can interpret and the cupbearer suddenly remembers Joseph. Pharaoh calls for Joseph, who then interprets the dreams and Pharaoh places him as second in command in all Egypt.
Years later with a famine raging in the land where Joseph’s family is, they eventually make their way to Egypt where Joseph has instituted a savings plan that saves his family from starvation.
So Joseph goes through horrible trials and God through amazing circumstances has him become a deliverer for his people. His imprisonment was unfair, yet it turned out to be a miracle.
So my Christian friends, the next time you think life is unfair in the negative, remember your salvation.Unfair, absolutely, and thank God that it is.