God’s not Fair – and why that’s good news

“THAT’S NOT FAIR!” followed by stomps and a temper tantrum, rolling of eyes, huffs, and running to our room. Does that sound familiar? Let alone what kids will do when they don’t get their way :-). We don’t even have to be taught this – a sense of fairness seems to be innately born into every individual, from the first time we cry for milk or a diaper change :-). This attitude follows us throughout life and manifests in our jobs, our marriages, our political views and even our hopes. Somehow, we think that getting what we deserve is proper, even poetic. Newsflash, karma is NOT in the Bible.

In Matthew 20:1-16 Jesus tells a parable of a man who owned a vineyard. He went to the market to hire workers three times throughout the day, then at the end of the day paid them all the same wages. The attitude of the earliest workers reflects our sense of fairness and entitlement, listen to the owner’s response, “I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? 14 Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. 15 Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’” (Matt. 20:1 NIV)

Fairness isn’t king in heaven. Yes, we know that God is just according to the Scripture (Ps 7:6, 11:7, Psalm 33:5, Psalm 36:6, Psalm 45:4, Matt 23:23, Rev 19:11). But there are concepts that hold greater value to God’s character and heart than fairness and justice, and grace is the one that wins here. (Jo 1:14, 17; Acts 15:11, Eph 2:8, 1 Tim 1:2, Titus 2:11; Heb 4:16; Jam 4:6; 2 Jo 1:3, Rev 22:21)

Our Father, like the owner of the vineyard, is not as concerned with fairness as we are. If He were then He never would have sent His pure spotless Son Jesus to die for our sin. I hear people say in situations even as mundane as tipping a waitress well, “But they don’t deserve it.” I always think, “Maybe, but if we get what we deserve, we go to hell.” So, we get the opportunity to look like our Father and offer grace to everyone around us – believers or not. It’s not our job on earth to doll out justice, but it is our job to offer the lavish, unfair, overwhelming grace of our good God!

Truth . . .

  • God’s not fair. He’s way better than that – God is good.
  • God offers grace – which is the empowering presence of God to become what He sees when He looks at us.
  • Because of Holy Spirit inside us, we offer grace to others also.
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