I was recently in a sporting goods store and watched a young father tell his middle-school aged son that he could not get a pair of Air Jordans that he wanted. The child stomped his foot and said ‘that’s not fair’, and stormed off to find his unsuspecting mother. We have all witnessed this type of reaction, and to be honest, we have probably responded in the same fashion many times in our own life.
To be clear, the little boy was right. Life is not fair. If you turn on the the cable TV channels, you can spend countless hours watching people discuss what is fair, what’s not fair, and who should do something about it. The issue of ‘fairness’ is an age old human condition. We do not like rules/boundaries, especially when others seem to not play by the same rules.
King David, in the Book of Psalms, writes many verses about his prayers to God about the success of his enemies. David cries out in Ps. 94:3, “Lord, how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked triumph.” (KJV) David is saying to God, ‘It’s not fair that my enemies are succeeding. When God will you help me?’
We all know that we feel this way many times. We look around us, and see people lying and cheating their way to the top. They create wealth, they get better jobs, and seem to have perfect lives. The issue is that their success is temporary. They seem to have tipped the ‘fairness scale’ in their favor today, but what about the long term?
As Christians, we need to keep our eye on the prize, which is our eternal inheritance living with Jesus Christ forever. For us to be jealous of someone else’s wealth, is like wanting a $5 bill from another man, when we have a $10 million dollar check in our pocket. Our eternal life in Christ is price-less. This truth should crush our earthly jealousies, concerning the personal gains of others.
We should be so thankful to God for the blessings that he has given to us. What we actually deserve is death and separation from God eternally. Through the Gospel, God has paved the way for us to be reconciled to him forever. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only son, that whosoever believes in him, shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
This hope, in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, is our security. When we are tempted to be angry over the success of corrupt people, we must see our own corrupt past and our forgiven status in Christ. Someone else may be getting a bigger paycheck today, but our spiritual bank account is full. We need to keep our heart and mind on Jesus, and let him be concerned about what is fair, and what is not.