Summary: People are troubled by the fact that life doesn’t seem to be fair. Peace and encouragement don’t come from rationalizing life, but from focusing on the love, presence and power of God in our lives.
THE SEVEN SERVICE
JUNE 30, 2002
Matthew 5:45 “Why Isn’t Life Fair?”
Growing up with brothers and sisters, a big issue for us was fairness. We always counted the number of presents, at Christmas time, in order to make sure that they were equal and thus fair. The value of the presents was estimated and it had to be equal, in order to be truly fair. Whenever something was divided great pains were taken to assure that pieces were of equal proportions and judged to be fair.
It isn’t just in life with brothers and sisters that fairness is an issue. Fairness was constantly talked about in the past Winter Olympics. Was it fair that the Russians, instead of the Canadians, won the gold in figure skating? Was it fair that a United States sprint skater won a medal instead of the South Korean?
Fairness is important to us. We want life to be fair. Unfortunately, we are often disappointed in our assumption.
LIFE ISN’T FAIR
Our natural assumption is that life to be fair. This is a common assumption, but it is not a true one.
We live in an imperfect world. Often Christians refer to the world as broken. There are many different explanations for why the world is the way it is. It is the Christian belief that the world is broken because of our sin. Sin is our rebellion against God’s rule in our lives and our desire to be our own little god. We’ve tried to take the place of God and we have made a mess of things. A broken world is not a fair world.
The Scripture passage that we read this evening points to the fact that God allows the rain to fall on the just and the unjust. In other words, bad things happen to both good and bad people, and good things happen to both those who deserve it and those who don’t. Life is not fair.
One of the most troubling questions is “Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?” or “What isn’t life fair?”
Once we begin to walk in a new relationship with God—the relationship God gave to us at our baptism—life does not become easier, nor does it become fair. An easy and comfortable life is not necessarily the result of living in obedience and faith to God. If it were, know our self-centered nature, people would flock to God simply to have an easy life.
God desires that we love God for who God is—a God of love—rather than for what God can do for us. In a sense, this notion is a little backward. The question should never be, “What can God do for us?” The important question is, “What is God calling us to do for God?”
God yearns for us to respond to God’s love for us, by loving God--to love God through the good and bad of life and through the fairness and unfairness of our experiences.
GOD’S LOVE THE FOCUS
God loves us. God is head-over-heals in love with us. Nothing can separate us from that love.
God’s love for us is expressed not only in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, but also in God blessing us abundantly with every good gift. We lack nothing.
God invites us to rest in God’s love. God encourages us to turn away from our search for fairness and focus on God’s overwhelming, steadfast love for us. Immersed in God’s love, we must ask ourselves if fairness is that important.
Life is more than fairness. If fairness is a priority in our lives, we will always be disappointed by life and consider ourselves cheated by life.
The abundant life is a life that is centered in God. It is a life that is so awestruck by God’s love, forgiveness, presence and power that fairness recedes into the distant background.