Sunday, February 12, 2012

It's Not Fair

How do you define fairness? If I'm not careful it's easy for me to slip down the, "this isn't fair" road. What did I do to deserve this? Why has God decided to place these circumstances in my life?

I think there is a common misconception about fairness in society. Fairness does not mean equal. Just because one person is given something doesn't mean that others deserve it as well. I often share an analogy with students when I speak.

If I give away a Snickers bar to a student but not to another student, that's not necessarily unfair. Did the first student do anything to deserve the Snickers bar or did I award it out of the grace in my heart? If they didn't deserve it, and neither does the second student, then it's not unfair to give it to one and not the other. Neither deserved it.

If I get too caught up in looking at what other people have in their lives or don't have (cancer), it's easy to start feeling indignant towards God because life doesn't feel fair. Why do people who don't appreciate the gift they've been given keep getting those gifts? What did I do to deserve this? 

However if I keep my perspective on God and on scripture it becomes clear that life is definitely not fair.

I don't deserve any of the blessings and gifts God has given me. I have been kept healthy for 10 months. I have an incredible family. God has allowed me to have a closer relationship with Him than I ever could have imagined. I have wonderful wife and son. My job allows me to serve people every day. I've been able to speak and share through the blog to tens of thousands of people in the last year. God has blessed us with a house, food, and clothing. 

Too often we think of fair as, I worked for something so I deserve the reward. We deceive ourselves into thinking we've actually created all the things that go well in our lives on our own. I work hard at my job, I stay in shape, I saved for a house, I bought this nice car, I'm healthy because I take care of myself, my kids behave because I'm a great parent.

The truth? We're an inexplicable moment away in God's sovereignty from being born to a third world prostitute and dying before we're four. Yet we like to take the credit for our "successes" and have the audacity to get mad at God when something doesn't go exactly as we think it "should". Then life becomes unfair. Never mind that we not only don't deserve all the exorbitant blessings God has placed in our lives, we actually deserve the opposite.

So lately I definitely feel like life isn't fair. What did I do to deserve this? Why has God decided to place these circumstances in my life? I'm blessed beyond anything I deserve. 

1 comment:

Barbara Lockwood [and Family] said...

And we are blessed beyond anything we deserve by having you in our lives.....we love you Ryan, and are praying for your peace and healing daily. May God our Father richly bless you with everything you do deserve........