When our kids were young and complained that something we did or didn’t do was “unfair,” I usually gave the stock parental response: “Who said it was supposed to be fair? Did I ever say that life was fair?” I don’t think they bought it, but it quieted them for the moment. Then when the sun was obscured in my own life, I was vexed by the unfairness of it all. Though I knew that God didn’t promise “fair,” my initial visceral reaction was to cry, “Foul! Unfair!”
I think at the core of this issue of “fairness” in the universe is how we think about God. If we believe that he owes us something because we’re such good people, then, when he doesn’t pay up, we cry, “Unfair!” But I haven’t seen anything in the Bible that supports the idea that I’m entitled to anything from the Almighty.
Friend, I am not being unfair to you… Don’t I have the right to do what I want with (what is) my own…? Jesus
Grace gives me the opposite of what I deserve, so when I toy with the idea that God is in my debt, it helps me to remember that I’m the servant and he’s the served.
– Originally published in The Other End of the Dark: A Memoir About Divorce, Cancer, and Things God Does Anyway