Ever feel that life’s not fair? Ever think that’s maybe not such a bad thing?
Unfairness may be a fact of life, but that doesn’t make it any less annoying. Don’t you just hate it when you feel you are getting a raw deal? I know I do, I get really wound up when I think I’m being hard done by. It’s a natural response, when we think we’re not getting what we deserve, or when we see someone getting something we think they don’t deserve. Unfairness, injustice, call it what you will, something inside us cries out at how wrong it is.
Recently I came across a daily reading though that made me think about this from a different angle. It spoke about the unfairness of seeing bad people doing well and getting the better of us. It also offered reassurance though. It reminded us that God is a god of justice, and that the wicked will one day be punished for their deeds. On that day, they said, we would receive justice at last. Our enemies will be cast down and we will be raised up to our rightful place.
But the more I thought about it, the more I realised there is a problem with this picture. We are the wicked. Before God we have all failed to make the grade. Our ‘rightful place’ is under God’s wrath, like everyone else. There is good news though. The good news is that God isn’t just the god of justice, he’s the god of mercy too. Our badness and our wrong-doing will be punished, but it doesn’t have to be us who get the punishment. Jesus offers to take it for us. if we have put our trust in him, he will raise us up, not to our rightful place, but to his side. This isn’t because of the things we do or the way we live, but in spite of it. Instead of getting what we deserve, we get a free gift we’ve done nothing to earn. Just as long as we rely totally on Jesus for it.
Good news, wonderful news, but fair? Not really! So the next time you find yourself wishing everything was fair: stop, think about this, and thank God it isn’t.