There are times in parenthood when you feel you would love to eradicate certain words or phrases from your children’s vocabulary. For the past few weeks our children have been escalating the use of a phrase that is testing my patience on a regular basis: “It’s not fair!”
This is said in a loud whining, whingeing voice and accompanied by a stamp of the foot and a sulky attitude, with an air of, “How are you going to sort this then, Mum?” making the words weigh even heavier. Sweets, iPad time, colours of cups, who will sit next to me at dinner, amount of dinner, space in the bath ... all of these are the merest tip of an iceberg of things that have been deemed unfair!
While trying to navigate through this particularly infuriating phrase I often find myself seeing “It’s not fair” cries in the world around me, and in the news. So I turned to my Bible to find all those marvellous Scriptures that tell us the world should be fair. I was disappointed with my findings!
The Bible doesn’t actually talk much about fairness at all, and, when it does, it’s in the context of justice and how we treat people. I know for sure my children’s cries are nothing to do with justice. They’re selfishly oriented and about something very different - equality. They want the same as each other. Everyone should be equal, and we should all have the same - no matter what.
As I consider this, I see the modern world invading their minds. There’s been a huge distortion of fairness to make it mean equality (which is a massive shift of God’s ordinance). When you read the Scriptures relating to fairness you find this is what they highlight about fairness; ensure inequality doesn’t affect our judgement of others.
There’ll always be rich and poor, those who suffer more, those whose circumstances are challenging, and those who seem to have it easier. Our positions in the world, workplace and Church will always be different, and life will always be unfair. Everyone won’t be equal in all ways.
As we consider our own hearts, may we too eradicate the cries of “It’s not fair!” from our lives. It seems to me that such words distract us from seeing all the good that God’s given to us, and remove gratitude from our hearts. This is a slippery slope of ungratefulness and selfish orientation, which will ultimately lead to a place of disillusionment, and a sense of being distant from God himself.
Prayer: Father God, I’ve often held cries of “It’s not fair” in my heart. I understand that life isn’t fair, and I have much to be thankful for. Please forgive me for any selfish focus, and for wrong judgements of You and others, Amen.
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