Where did we get this idea of “fairness”? It’s not something that is particularly Biblical but it seems to be something that is innate. From almost the time we can talk, we begin pronouncing things “unfair”. Mom decides which child gets to pick the movie. “That’s not fair.” A teenager’s curfew is earlier then her friends. “That’s not fair.” A guy’s boss picks someone less deserving of the job. “That’s not fair.”

Don’t you know? Life ain’t fair.

Where did we come up with this? God isn’t “fair”. God is merciful. God is just. But He isn’t “fair”. At least not by our standards and our understanding of this world.

If God was “fair”, the good guys would always be stalwart and true and be deservingly rewarded. The bad guys would always get what is coming to them. Eye for an eye and all that. But that’s not how it works. Not in this life.

Because this life is screwed up by sin, it’s not “fair”. Bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people. Criminals are set free and innocent men are put in jail. Children are kidnapped. Women are beat by their husbands. Hardworking people lose their jobs.

Sometimes I wonder if our sense of “fairness” doesn’t override our ability to love and to rejoice with those who rejoice. Heaven and Hell have been used as equalizers. “Well, the wicked can party it up here but then they’ll spend eternity in Hell and I’ll live forever in the arms of baby Jesus.” Is that what Jesus wants us to think? We’re talking eternal torment and people want to say, “Got what you deserved!”? I doubt that’s what He had in mind.

Life isn’t fair. It’s messed up and wacky and scary and unpredictable. But we aren’t called to fairness. We’re called to love.

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