The injustices of life often flood our worlds like a torrential cloudburst that refuses to stop. A person whose faith builds a beautiful life falls prey to an unthinkable disease. A person whose generous heart willingly shares "the shirt off his back" is tossed on the reefs of economic calamity. A person of compassion who always helps victims of tragedy is victimized by tragedy. A person whose life is guided by positive attitudes and a refreshing spirit dies much "before her time." It is not fair!

Life's unfairness has been a constant in earthly existence since Adam blamed God and Eve for his failure. The unfairness of injustice never skips a generation--Cain did kill Abel. The Bible is a documentary on the realities of injustice. To the extent that evil prospers, the unfairness of injustice abounds.

Christians commonly assume that Christianity "makes everything fair." Some see "fairness" as a benefit of Christianity, some see it as a goal, and some see it as Christianity's purpose. It is true that fairness blossoms in the lives of the godly. As we learn to treat others as we want to be treated, those blossoms mature to ripe fruit. Still, the unfairness of injustice is an unremovable constant in everything touched by evil. Everywhere evil exerts influence, the unfairness of injustice thrives. When we conclude (because we belong to Christ) that we will not experience the unfairness of injustice, we are prepared to be disillusioned. We can conclude that so easily! When disillusionment occurs, we are outraged.

Unfortunately, the unfairness of injustice often blinds us to the unfairness of salvation. Forgiveness is unfair. So is mercy. And so are compassion, kindness, and forbearance. All of them are based on undeserved consideration. All are built on the preferential treatment of love. None of them concern themselves with what we deserve; they concern themselves only with the noblest expressions of love.

Evil and its consequences are so unfair! In that unfairness is pain, grief, and destruction. God and the consequences of His mercy are so unfair! In that unfairness is peace, joy, hope, and salvation. Thank you, God, for being unfair, for it is in your unfairness that I find love and salvation. Please, God, help us understand how to be unfair as are you, not as is this world.

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 9 February 1997

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