It may appear that fairness has become one of the gold-standards of American culture. Everyone is equal. For anyone to receive any kind of preference is perceived to be discriminating against them and has the potential to bring a lawsuit. In many ways, this can be perceived as good and entirely appropriate for any free society.
While it may appear so, fairness does not mean that every person gets the same thing. The true meaning of fairness is that 'we get what we deserve'.
When we think of what it means to be fair, we can compare it to two separate mindsets:
*A person holding a negative view of themselves or the world, may believe there is no escape for them to think, feel or believe any other way, except that they are not 'good'.
*Another person who may typically see the more positive side of things, may have the expectation that since they’ve never been arrested they are truly good in the eyes of God.
Love isn't necessarily fair. Love prefers the beloved one over and above all others. I may believe that my kids are cuter than your kids, and you probably disagree because you believe your kids are cuter than mine. Love does this to and for us. It’s not fair, but it’s good.
God is love. But is God, fair?
He is perfect. He is right. He is good. He is just.
But, God is NOT fair! Okay, now I've lost about two-thirds of you, who are likely thinking, 'Wait! Is she honestly saying that God. Is. Not. Fair??
Yes, I am saying that... bear with me a moment.... think about it this way: If we could be perfect as Jesus Christ is, we would be able to stand in God's sight. It is our sin that separates us from God, not who we are, who our parents are, where we work or how much money we make, the size of our house, yada yada yada.
Because we live in a fallen world, where prior to the fall, God looked on all that He had made and He said, "Behold, it is very good!"
Enter, our humanness through Adam and Eve. They get an up close glimpse of a very appealing shiny piece of fruit and made the choice to do life on their terms and follow a worthless pursuit of trying to be as "God is" based on a lie from a snake! Yuck!! Who listens to a snake?? (Hmmm, I am pretty sure, I would have elected to chase the stupid shiny object as well?... I mean 'pleasing to the eye' does sound pretty fabulous, right??)
So, God says, "Great, now look what you've done. What am I going to do with You??" (Okay, this is The Sheri Paraphrase... LOL). So, he decides on a plan for our redemption and spends 2000 years perfecting it. Boy, we do have our issues.... just saying.
So God is not fair, because if He were, Jesus would never have come to earth, gone through all that He faced, cried out in a Garden that God might free Him from the step He knew He was going to need to take. He would not have had to face betrayal by someone who had walked with Him as a Friend. He would not have spent hours in torture and interrogation, only to be mocked, spit upon, ridiculed, and persecuted beyond recognition. And then, for six hours one Friday, hang on a cross made from a tree He created. He did it all for me... yep, for my sins.
While He was on the cross, He was thinking of me. He was thinking of you, too!
He did it...Just for me... and for You too:
For me to be free to have a rotten attitude when things don't go my way;
For me to be free to call His name out loud when life hurts;
For me to shake my fist at Him for all I've been through and how unfair it all is;
And, for three days from now on Easter Sunday, for me to walk beside you and proclaim:
"Hallelujah, He is Risen!!" So you could reply in turn, "He is Risen, Indeed!!"
Oh, what a Savior.... Thank You, Jesus!!
Okay, back to my story...
But God is just. His judgments are right and good and true.
A God whose primary description is “fair” would be devoid of grace or mercy or compassion. Instead, the guilty would immediately receive the punishment for their sin. This equates to what is commonly known as 'karma', where you receive what you’ve earned. Every action is weighed on a scale, and you work your hardest to have the good outweigh the bad.
Those who desire a fair God also have a very low view of sin’s seriousness. Sure, God may not like sin, but surely I won't be condemned by my sin unless it’s really serious, right?
But that’s just not what the Bible teaches about sin. Read the Sermon on the Mount and see how serious Jesus treats sin.
Even if God was fair and He would actually weigh the scales, and even if your scales had more good than bad… what would a fair God do with sin? We would certainly, at least I would be, found wanting!
A good judge makes right judgments. He does not condemn the innocent. Nor does he free the guilty.
God is just (because He does not overlook sin), but He is not fair.
It simply is not fair that Jesus Christ suffered on Calvary's Cross in my place and for my sin!
It is not fair that He endured the rejection and wrath that should have been mine.
It is not fair that I received the Grace of God, while He received the most bitterest of cups, for me. In my place.
God is not fair, He transferred the guilt of all humanity on the innocent shoulders of Jesus. But He is just, because the punishment was given out and paid for.
If God was fair, we would all receive what we’ve earned… death.
“The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may freely eat; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for on the day that you eat from it you will certainly die.” Genesis 2:16-17
“Indeed, there is not a righteous person on earth who always does good and does not ever sin.” Ecclesiastes 7:20
“They have all turned aside; together they are corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.” Psalm 14:3
“For the wages of sin is death…” Romans 6:23
“For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it.” James 2:10
I just have to say here.... If God sees all of this about us and He still makes a way of redemption for us... who are we to look on another and, blame, judge or condemn them? They will KNOW we are His (Followers of Jesus aka Christians) by our LOVE!
Okay, I'm getting back to my story.... Imagine a fair God, who gave to everyone what they deserved. We’d all receive the judgment we deserve! We’d all be condemned to hell.
Thanks be to God for His love and grace and mercy, which turned His justice against Himself, Jesus Christ being fully God and fully man, so that sinners could be reconciled with God.
Hallelujah, what a gift!!!!! Receive it...even though you or I can't earn it... We can receive it!!
“And Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
“… God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their wrongdoings against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” 2 Corinthians 5:19
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9
The message of the gospel is this: We are saved by faith alone in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We plead for God’s grace, not for fairness.
Salvation comes through the work of Christ. It is a gift, not a paycheck. It is unfair, because it’s pure grace.
Let us give praise and thanks to God that He is not fair!
Sheri Geyer is a Relationship Coach for Christian Women*
*And women seeking to learn more about a relationship with Jesus Christ!
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