Not Fair

Growing up, I learned a lot from my dad: how to ride a bike, the tragic stories of classic rock stars’ deaths, the names of the animal species in the woods. One of his favorite sayings to use when I complained was probably the best thing he ever taught me: life’s not fair. Occasionally followed by “the fair only comes to town once a year and you have to pay to get in.” This sounds like a harsh thing to tell a 5 year old, but many spend their whole lives learning this lesson. I found it much more beneficial to learn it early on. 

People subscribe to different ideas of what a perfectly fair world looks like, and that is never more evident than during an election year. But I’m not here to talk politics. Rather than look to a temporary, fallible human leader for an idea of “fair,” I’m looking to the One who sits on the throne for eternity. 

We serve a God who is righteous, and just. He is everything good, and he is good in every way we could never be. But the last thing He is, is fair.

And I thank him every day that he isn’t.

If God were fair, he would give us what we deserve; what we have earned for ourselves. But what do we deserve? We sin every day from the day we are born. And we would all love to believe that because we’ve never killed a man or committed another “big sin” that God doesn’t judge us as harshly as others. But Jesus said himself that lust is adultery and hatred is murder. If you have broken one law, you have broken them all. 

In our arrogance, we have believed that we know better than the one who created us and sustains us. With our actions, we have spat in his face and told him we don’t need him. He reaches for us and we push him away.

Our human sense of justice would tell us, were we in God’s place, to walk away; give them what they’ve been asking for. If we want separation from God, Hell is where to go, right? We made our bed, now we should have to lay in it. 

The good news is that this isn’t even close to how God responds to us. His love is unfailing. Instead of forsaking a people that turned their back on Him, he bled himself dry and pleaded for our forgiveness on one of his last breaths. Even knowing the darkness of our hearts, he invites us to commune with him, and he delights in us. He takes us back in even after our immeasurable mistakes, our prideful unrepentance, and with all our brokenness. 

So no, life is not fair, and God is not fair. But that is the best news the world has ever known.

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