The little one is in bed napping, the older girls are busying themselves with activities for quiet time. I grabbed a small quart of chocoalte ice cream from the freezer…mommy gets a treat this afternoon!
One by one, each of my daughters caught me, asking for a spoon of ice cream. When told that they could not have any, I was met with the response, “But that is not fair!”
I could have answered by reminding my children of the cookie they had enjoyed after lunch. Or told them that the ice cream was too expensive to share. I could have laid out for them the events of my day…all the work I had done and how I was entitled to a few spoons of chocolate ice-cream. I have given such reasonable responses to my children in the past, but today, that is not what poured from my lips.
Today my heart felt it was time to plant a perspective in my children’s’ hearts, that the Lord had been working out in my own heart. “
“Honey, It is okay. It is okay that things are not fair. And you know what? you can be okay that mommy can have ice cream and you cannot.”
They left in thought. There was no planned come-back for that idea.
I want my children to know that feeling injustice is not only normal, but it is okay. I think my eldest daughter might have even pondered further as to why it might be okay for mommy to have a bit of ice cream and why it was okay that she did not get any ice-cream. Perhaps she came up with some very sensible reasons herself.
I know that accepting injustice in our equal and fair driven society is very much a foreign thought. Our culture idolizes fairness.
From a very little age, children play games in which everybody wins. Equal treatment is expected, and when not given, demanded. Teenagers spend hours arguing with parents about what is fair in having a cell phone, dating, curfews, what to wear, or driving privileges. Our perspective of justice is based upon what is perceived as “the norm.” Being forced to live outside that box of “norm” is injustice.
But looking into Scripture, this is where we Christians must divide with our culture. Our fight for personal equality and justice takes on a different meaning in the light of the gospel.
1. We know that fairness will never exist in this fallen world. Indeed, we can make strides for equality; for justice, but it will never be attained.
Because of the sinful nature of man equality is not able to be obtained and someone in must give up his or her own justice in order to bring peace. Our earthly form of justice often is more of a win/loose situation than win/win. And how familiar we are with how justice for one person intrudes upon the justice of another!
What a mother deems fair in an unwanted pregnancy takes away what is fair and just for an unborn baby.
What one parent may say is fair in a divorce, robs the other parent from being with his or her child. And what about what is just and fair for the child who rarely has a choice in the matter…
What one hard-working person may say is fair in a promotion is unfair to another co-worker who is equally qualified.
In truth, we all want to be treated well and we want what we see as best. Fairness is the word we often utilize to get what we feel is best for ourselves. Because of our self-loving, sinful natures, fairness, equality, and justice are completely perverted.
I have a haunch, if it were even possible to live in a world that was impeccably just in every way, we would still cry out from our own perceptions…”That is not fair!”
“Liberty and justice for all,” is truly a worthy goal, but we must learn to be at peace, that until the Christ comes to rule this world, such a goal cannot be attained, only striven for.
2. For Christians, the gospel is priority. It is so easy for everything to seem more important than what is most important. I have been at fault for getting caught in a noble cause and completly neglecting the power of the gospel.
Only the gospel has the power to change the world.
When Christ came to earth, the Roman empire was in rule over many nations, including the Jewish people. The Jewish people in Christ’s day longed for their Messiah to come and set them free from the unjust rule of the Roman Empire.
To the Jews surprise, their Messiah did not come to set them free from Roman rule. Christ’s purpose was not a temporary one, but an eternal. Christ did not come to set human captives free from their masters, but to set the souls of men free from the captivity of sin!
How, we in our day, fail to grasp the horrors that the captivity of sin brings to the human soul! It is truly the worst plight of humanity.
Man’s inability to fulfill his created purpose to bring God glory in a relationship with his Creator is a far greater desperation to all injustices among mankind. In fact, it is even the cause of all the troubles of the world.
Trying to bring change to the world apart from the gospel is like slapping a bandage over a spreading Melanoma. The skin problem can look like it is non-exsistent, but it is far from being cured until it is killed to the very root.
Yes, we ought to fight for what is biblically right. Every bearer of God’s image must be treated with sacred dignity. But we gravely fail in our quest for righteousness if we strive to bring change apart from the gospel. So as we walk about in this dark, unfair world, we, who believe in the redemption brought about on the cross are under every obligation to share it with our fellowman.
3. Our idea of what is just and fair is not same God’s, because our perspective is not the same as God’s. My warped, self-focused heart is tempted to put God into my little box of “my view”, instead of seeing Him as Scripture describes as utterly sovereign, holy, and in complete authority. Even in the choosing of those He would and would not redeem. How dare I think that my code of fairness is better than God’s!
Praise my Redeemer! HE DOES NOT BOW DOWN TO MY VIEW OF JUSTICE!
“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit,” I Peter 3:18
My heart was once against God. It could do nothing righteous. Even the little goodness I thought I did, was disgusting in comparison to the absolute perfection of my Creator. My path was my own, not God’s. I could pretend it looked like God’s but it was a false identity.
“For all of us have become like one who is unclean,
And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment;
And all of us wither like a leaf,
And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.” Is. 64:6
As a result of putting myself on the throne of my life, the God who made all things-Who put each atom together with a word-had every right to obliterate me.
In fact, He has every right to consume all His self-worshiping creation. That would be completely fair…completely just. Governments in our world are completely understood in their prerogative to destroy anyone who dares usurp rule over them or attempt to harm to their kingdom in any way.
What did God, the Creator-King of all mankind do? He made a way for me, to be in sweet, blessed communion with Him. I can come to Him, without fear, to the very throne room. How did He do that? By exchanging the place of where I should be with His Son. So instead of destroying me, punishing me, and condemning my life and soul to eternal destruction. He destroyed His only, absolutely perfect Son. He condemned His Son. His Son is the One who was forsaken. Christ experienced all the worst of God’s wrath, for me.
NOW THAT IS THE GREATEST INJUSTICE-that is the gospel.
Tears fill my eyes at this thought.
My sinful, rebellious heart deserves nothing but God’s wrath. I deserve death. I deserve to eternally waste in hell. I deserve every miserable thing in life.
But that is not what I have been given. I have been given mercy. I have been given grace. I have been given forgiveness. I have been given an eternal inheritance in the very kingdom I once despised.
And yes, to my dear children, it is completely unfair that I should enjoy even a spoonful of ice-cream.
“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!” Psalm 34:8