I don’t recall “fair” being a holy concept in Scriptures. I also don’t remember justice belonging to anyone but the Lord (Vengeance is mine. I will repay, says the Lord –Romans 12:19.) When we want life to be fair, we should be careful to think what fair might look like before we dare wish for such justice.
If life were fair, we think the world wouldn’t have any poverty and war, wouldn’t have any sickness, and wouldn’t have any pain. If it were about fair, we might think the world wouldn’t have thieves or killers or liars. If it were about fair, certainly children wouldn’t get caught in crossfire, or die of AIDS, or go hungry or be left orphaned. It seems life wouldn’t be about selfish desires, but about others. We might stand trial for not sharing, for being prideful, for being angry, for being too much about ourselves, but no one would be found guilty because that wouldn’t be fair. I am afraid to think if life were fair, as defined as a human brand of justice.
People’s best attempt at fair would vary greatly from God’s. If the world were fair, anyone that could read this (assuming you could read which just excluded up to 50% of us depending on what gender you are and where you live in the world) would most certainly have less materially speaking and health-wise than he has now. If it were fair, most likely people would measure equity in terms of themselves and not others. If life were fair, we would have to be judged for any number of sins we commit each day and justice would be served for others of course—offenses committed against us but we would remain exempt. Surely that would be fair, wouldn’t it? Then the real question would arise: who gets to determine what is fair and what is not?
On a certain other day long ago, life wasn’t fair at all for a Savior who died on a cross for all the unfairness a fallen world could muster, for all the unfairness I have caused. One man, one cross, once and for all, made all that was wrong so very right, but still not fair. And in eternal fairness of Day, Life will be restored because of that unfair act on that day from a selfless and devoted God.
So, what is the real struggle about? Do we dare wish for “fair”? Or can we simply fall on our knees and thank the Lord that one Day, it will be right—and still not fair, thanks be to God, only because of the One who chose not to be fair with us, but to love us more than He desired to punish us, to let us come to Him and risk us not choosing Him, to surrender His Life that we win Life, to be righteousness for us, while we were yet sinners. To that One that makes life not fair, but beautiful and amazing, I am indebted forever. Thank you, Lord, that life isn’t about fair—that it is more about love than justice, mercy than equity, holiness than haughtiness, personal awe than practical awareness, weakness rather than strength. In the Precious Name of Your Son’s unfair but most loving Sacrifice, Amen.