When God is Not Fair

When God is Not Fair

by Wayne Stiles 
Unfair. That’s how it feels.Remember that childhood Christmas when your sister opened the gift you wanted? Or when your brother got a T-bird for graduation and you got stuck with the family Nova?Not fair.800px Tears When God is Not Fair

(Photo by Rob from Sydney, Australia (CC-BY-2.0), via Wikimedia Commons

Fast forward to today and ask yourself how it hits you when:

  • A coworker gets a raise but you do more work—or perhaps, his work?
  • A neighbor decorates her home from an unrestricted budget and you’re gluing the peeling wallpaper back on the wall?
  • Your job reduces your salary because of the economy, but another business gives raises and bonuses?

We find ourselves kids again pouting around the Christmas tree.

There’s a reason Scripture has to command us not to covet. It’s in our nature. It’s systemic. If we can’t have more than others, at least we want it equal.

But less than others? Uh, no. That’s not fair.

What Unfairness Does to Us

Unfair situations do more than aggravate our sense of justice. They also pierce the thin veneer of our humility and ooze from us a stinking pride called jealousy.

Like the day laborers in Jesus’ parable—hired at the beginning of the day—we resent the privileged loafer on whom the landowner dotes (Matthew 20:1-15). Even though we get paid a full day’s wage for our work, we begrudge the fact that someone else gets the same for sitting on their duff all day.

As we read Jesus’ parable, we line up in agreement with those who protest the inequitable pay.

We’ve all experienced it. We hate unfairness. It’s just so . . . well, not fair.

Perspective Helps Us Deal with What’s Unfair

But we must recognize that from God’s perspective, we represent those hired at the end of the day—those who got something for nothing. As we stand before the Father, we receive His generosity—not His equity.

“God seems unfair. But considering His grace in our lives, we should be grateful He is.” (Tweet that.)

God has doted on us far, far more than we deserve. So, we see that when it comes to God’s grace in our lives, His unfairness works to our advantage.

But what about when God gives others more? Consider the question as if from God (that was Jesus’ point, by the way):

“Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?” —Matthew 20:15

He simply applies a different measure of grace to different people—for His sovereign purposes. But it’s grace all the same.


 What unfair experiences have you had? How did you deal with it?


About ptl2010

Jesus Christ is coming soon
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3 Responses to When God is Not Fair

  1. Anna Popescu says:

    Yes, we as humans tend to think of things as unfair. But what if instead we–as Jesus followers–consider all we have gained by Jesus Christ’s death for OUR sins? Just a thought to ponder…

  2. >> “What unfair experiences have you had? How did you deal with it?”

    I guess I have always (since becoming a blood-bought, adopted child of the living God) been so overwhelmed by the abundance of blessings I’ve received from my amazing God, that I haven’t been in that position. Well, I’m sure I have, but I don’t remember any. On the contrary, I constantly look back on my life with amazement at what He has done and the great privileges He has given me in His service. I am indeed blessed!

    What an amazing God!

  3. ptl2010 says:

    When assigned to a job which required much travelling, I wondered why the Lord was “unfair”, as my other colleagues could sit behind comfortable desks day in and day out without their home, social and church lives being disrupted while I had to leave home on Sunday evenings or early Monday mornings and be in another country thoughout the week or two weeks returning only late Friday evenings. This lasted for 14+ years. Little did I forsee that I would be involved on my retirement in ChristianBlessings an international ministry, and He had to prepare me with one to one international relations on the job first , for me to have patience and understand where people of other cultures are coming from when they think, speak and act. That ” unfair” experience gave me so many interpersonal opportuntiies
    – to share the gospel of peace
    – to introduce and open the minds of those who were steeped in their own culture and religion to an “outsider” a Jesus believer, an example of someone with different thoughts, beliefs and concern which whet their appetite by lifestyle of congruent talk and walk
    – and to point them to Jesus finally.

    Praise the Lord He does all things well even when it seems “unfair”. I am reminded of this verse “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.Luke 16:10.

    How did I cope while on the job? Accept and enjoy the will of the Lord – commit every day to Him, trust Him and He has directed my path. Praise the Lord. It is nothing like being in the centre of God’s will even if it seems unfair.

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