“This isn’t right!” she shouted, and with a stomp of her foot she shrieked “That’s not fair!” Had she lost out on a large sum of money, or suffered major inconvenience? No, her hamburger was missing something she had ordered in a fast-food restaurant! Never mind that the undeserving employee was totally embarrassed or that people had to listen to her rant. The most important issue was her food.
In Canada, we are raised to think we should not tolerate any mistake that inconveniences us – whether intended or not. Woe is the person who must quickly sort out the problem to our satisfaction.
When will we learn that it’s impossible for life to always be fair? Why should young children be stricken with serious illness? Why must a billion people in the world have to drink contaminated water? Why must innocent civilians lose their lives in war?
How should Christians react to injustice and unfairness? Let’s first recognize that some battles people fight are motivated by revenge. They feel they’ve been treated unfairly, so somebody must pay. Our Lord warned, “never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God” (Romans 12:19). Let’s not take His place in the matter.
Yet there are battles we should fight to make life easier for the disadvantaged and helpless. Religious people, James says, should “visit orphans and widows in their distress” (James 1:27), implying we should try to right some wrongs. Yet, some battles are minor in nature and not worth it. We look silly when we make a big scene over a hamburger.
Let’s also remember that our attitude is important. The young lady above would have received what she needed if she had better manners. “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men” (Romans 12:18). It’s okay stick up for yourself, but do it with respect.
Christians ought to be models of patience and understanding. Quarrelling people in Corinth went so far as to take each other to court! Paul said they were flawed in attitude. “Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded?” (1 Cor. 6:7). We shouldn’t always expect perfect treatment from others.
Was it fair that Jesus had to come to earth and give Himself on the cross for us? He didn’t die for his own mistakes, but rather for ours. He treated us with grace and mercy. That’s the Lord we serve, and we must serve Him even when life isn’t fair. As the judge of the whole universe He will right all wrongs on the GREAT DAY. Let’s look forward to that day, and not expect total fairness in this world now.
– Tim Johnson