In Pursuit Of Fairness

Posted April 5th, 2008 by Kent and filed in devotional

by Jon Walker

“The Lord is merciful and gracious; he is slow to get angry and full of unfailing love.” Psalm 103:8 (NLT)

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My kids are obsessed with fairness. They argue over who gets the biggest piece, who gets to play the computer game longest, who gets to sit next to the window. I suspect your children or the children you know are the same way.

One night during dinner, my kids were arguing over who would get the last slice of pizza and out popped the oft repeated phrase, “That’s not fair!”

Okay, it had been a long day and I was tired, so I looked at my children and said, “Fair! You want fair? Since you didn’t pay for the dinner, you shouldn’t get to eat. Are you sure you still want fair?”

But, honestly, it’s not just the kids who argue over fairness. I’m sure this doesn’t happen at your house, but sometimes my spouse and I argue over what is fair – who will change the baby’s diaper, who should make dinner, who gets to drive the “good” car.

This obsession over fairness seems to be in the human DNA: “Let me have the bigger slice;” “let me have the better salary;” “let me get away with it this time.” After all, it’s only fair, right?

We make the same arguments with God. We plead for fairness when we’re really asking for special treatment. But the truth is, God can say to us in true fairness, “I’m a Holy God and you’ve done some very unholy things. Fair would mean I can stay angry at you forever. It would mean I can punish your for the horrible things you’ve done and I can give you every bit of what you deserve. Are you sure you still want fair?”

But God, in his compassion, is not like that at all. David, the ancient poet/king, sang this song of God: “The Lord is merciful and gracious; he is slow to get angry and full of unfailing love. He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever.” (Psalm 103:8–9, NLT)

When David sings about God’s “unfailing love,” he uses a Hebrew word that implies God is in loving pursuit of us. Yahweh chases after us with such persistent grace that he refuses to let us get away. His pursuit is energized by his compassion, not only feeling what we feel, but also with the intent to help us: “He has not punished us for all our sins, nor does he deal with us as we deserve. For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.” (Psalms 103:10–11, NLT)

While we’re in pursuit of fairness, God, knowing fair will mean our inevitable destruction, remains in compassionate pursuit of us.

Communicating Compassion:

· Yahweh’s unfailing love – God’s compassion flows from his unfailing, undying love for you. His love for you is so vast it extends from the earth to the heights of heaven, and his compassionate pursuit of you brings Jesus from heaven’s heights to an empty tomb on earth. If you truly trusted God’s unfailing love, how would you live your life differently? Ask God to guide you to a place of true trust.

· Do a Fairness Flip – Start practicing compassion by flipping the angle of any fairness argument. In other words, say, “You, my friend, can have the bigger piece of cake.” “Let me change the diaper again.” “Because of your addictions, you may deserve to live on the streets, but God has shown me compassion, and I want to extend the same compassion to you.”

· From fairness to unfailing love – As God develops compassion within you, he will bring you to a place where you’ll need to give up the “argument of fairness” and replace it with unfailing love. God is patient, so don’t panic or beat yourself up. Ask God to guide you toward unfailing love.