How many times during your lifetime have you made the statement, “That’s not fair”? We learn early on that life is not fair. You would think that we would learn from our childhood experiences that this thing called life is not fair. But most of us adults carry this secret hope inside of us that we will discover everyone will treat us fairly. We think when most people get to know us they will treat us fairly.
Then through the circumstances of everyday life we are reminded again of the naked truth that life is not fair. As a committed follower of Christ we understand that because we live in a fallen and sinful world, life is not always going to be fair.
It’s not fair that we get cancer and our neighbor who lives a wicked and vile life is healthy as a horse. It is not fair that the teacher intentionally gives our child a hard time and makes them hate going to school. It’s not fair that the slacker at work gets the kudos and promotions while we slave away unrecognized? Or maybe your beef is with God about Him not being fair. Why do you have to suffer when other believers, who are not as committed as you, are seemingly trouble free?
It is one thing to acknowledge that life is not fair, but another thing when we foster a constant mindset of unfairness. Having the unfairness chip on our shoulder reveals our Worldview. A worldview is the lens with which we view life. Our concept of life, our basis for decision making is connected to our worldview. There are basically two concepts of a worldview, the secular worldview and the Biblical worldview.
Carrying around a unfairness chip is characteristic of a secular worldview. A secular worldview says, “Life is not fair and I am going to fix it no matter who I have to roll over to do it. I will make sure I get recognized because no one steps on my rights to be respected. No one is going to treat me that way.” You can plainly see that there is no end to the constant push to “make life fair”.
But to the committed follower of Jesus, life is not about fairness. Our Biblical worldview tells us that life is not about the world treating us fairly, but it’s about giving our life as a living sacrifice. “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not merely look out for you own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. “ (Philippians 2:3-4)
There is a paradoxal principle at work here. When we give our life away then our life is enriched. We honor God by giving value to others. To a believer, life becomes about constantly giving our life away so others will be drawn to Jesus by the quality of His life in us. This worldview has no room for concern about unfairness.
Our Biblical Worldview teaches us the Christian life is to be lived from a position of rest. The Biblical concept of resting is taken from the belief that God is sovereign, which means that God is ultimately in control. Nothing ever escapes the knowledge or grasp of God. It reminds me of the old saying, “Has it ever occurred to you that nothing ever occurred to God?” He is never surprised or caught off guard when life treats you unfairly.
You see it’s never about, “What are you going to do rectify your unfair treatment?” It’s about experiencing God’s sovereignty in the midst of the unfairness. Our focus needs to be listening, watching and observing God as He accomplishes His design for your predicament. Remember, God works best when we take our hands off the situation and trust Him.
It’s not about fairness it about obedience. Do you believe that everything comes from God, even when we are treated unfairly? I am not suggesting that God caused the person to treat us unfairly but I am saying that God allowed us to experience the unfairness. You may ask, how is that about obedience? It’s about obedience because we must properly respond to the challenge the Lord has allowed to come our way.
It’s like temptation. When temptation comes our way we are to be obedient to the scripture when it teaches us that for every temptation there is a way of escape, “God will provide a way of escape.” (1 Cor. 10:13) When we are tempted we should look for and take the way of escape.
In the same manner, when unfairness comes our way it should be our queue to obey the Lord, “Don’t be anxious about anything (like unfairness), but (bring) everything to God by prayer (devotion and worship), supplication (cry of humility), with thanksgiving let your request be made known to God. And then the peace of God which surpasses all comprehension shall keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
What’s the bottom line? When we experience unfairness it’s a test from God. When faced with unfairness, will we give our life away, even to the one who is treating us unfairly? Will we rest because we know that God is in control? Will we be obedient and bring it to God in prayer, allowing Him to give us a peace that passes all understanding, even in the midst of being treated unfairly?
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge Him and he will make your path straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)