Written by Katherine Manthe / March 2018
When I was younger, I found myself saying “But that’s not fair!” quite a bit. Whether I was on cleanup after a meal, got in trouble for something I didn’t do, or so-and-so got to go out to lunch with Mom, if I felt it was unfair I was definitely not afraid to voice it. I’ve noticed “That’s not fair,” is a popular saying with my younger siblings too. I’m pretty confident most of you can relate as well. As humans, we’re no stranger to the feeling of being entitled.
The thing is, I’ve found myself saying “but that isn’t fair,” a lot lately. I’ve felt frustrated and angry, both with the people around me and my situation. I remember a particularly vehement phone call I had with my dad. I was frustrated to the point of tears and very bitter. It just wasn’t fair that so-and-so was acting the way they were. Why were they taking it out on me? And how come I don’t have this and shouldn’t I have that?
Dad stopped me in the middle of my resentful rant by quoting Romans 12:19. “Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.” Dad continued with, “He sees and knows and will judge righteously. And that is a comforting thought because we often only see our side…”
I was pretty quiet after that, thinking about what he had said. And I realized I wasn’t angry anymore. He was so right. As humans we tend to get self-involved and only see our side of things. God, however, sees all and knows all. He knows our thoughts, our intentions, and our actions as well as the thoughts, intentions, and actions of others and He will judge accordingly.
It is often so easy for us to say, “Hey, that’s not fair!” or “That isn’t right.” The truth is though, that life is not fair. And we should be thankful that it isn’t. If life were fair, we would all be getting exactly what we deserved: eternal punishment in hell. But because God loved you and me so much that He sent His own son to die, life isn’t fair. Jesus did not deserve to die on the cross. He lived a perfect life, and because of that, He didn’t deserve to die a sinner’s death.
A good question to keep in mind is this: Was Jesus resentful that He was getting what He didn’t deserve? Of course not! In fact, He was the exact opposite. 1 Peter 2:21-24 says, “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: “Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth”; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.”
There’s a quote from a song I like by Tenth Avenue North, and it goes like this: “I’m not entitled, Still you call me your child.” It’s so simple, yet so beautiful, and it’s exactly the reminder I needed. I’m not entitled to anything. I don’t deserve the everlasting life I have been given through faith in Christ Jesus, and yet He loves me like I am His own child. In fact, through Christ, He has made me His own child.
So when you find yourself thinking, “Life’s not fair,” be thankful that it isn’t instead of being resentful. Find comfort in knowing that God knows your needs and He will provide for you. Not only that, but He sees both sides of the story. He knows my needs, your needs, and everyone else’s needs. He knows our intentions. Find peace in leaving the judgment in the hands of the Lord!
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” – John 3:16