My kids, like many, constantly keep score. “Why does Tyler have a bigger piece?” “Why does Evelyn get to stay up later?” “I want that toy because it’s better!” “It’s not fair.” Every parent has heard these words and most have probably spoken them. Along with that you have probably also heard, “well, life’s not fair kid get used to it”. But let’s be honest, even as adults we don’t like life being unfair. So why does life seem so unfair?
It starts with the fall. Shortly after the world was formed, God’s prized creation, disobeyed. Adam and Eve broke God’s command and by a piece of fruit sin came. (Gen. 3) With sin came broken relationships, selfishness, jealous, and even death. Why is sin an important ingredient in this recipe of unjustness?
I find, like my kids, I keep score. Jealous and envy creep in to our thoughts and we start to covet the things we lack. God called us not to covet our neighbor’s wife, his house and his stuff. This command was even in the ten commandments (Exodus 20:17) Yet we do, and at times we try to keep up with our neighbors in a race to see who is better. Have you heard the phrase “keeping up with the Joneses”? This phrase originates with the comic strip created by Arthur R. “Pop” Momand in 1913. The strip depicts the social climbing McGinis family, who struggle to “keep up” with their neighbors, the Joneses. This became exhausting for Mr. McGinis and it can become the same for us. (Proverbs 14:30)
Instead of being content or thankful for what we have we have a desire for more. 1 Timothy talks about being content and how the lack of contentment leads to destruction (1 Tim 6:6-10). I saw this video of people in a gym, it starts with a heavy set guy watching a skinny guy work out, as he watched he wished he too where skinny like that. In turn the skinny guy watched and wished he was lean like the one in front of him. The lean guy looked in envy at the the body builder and wished he had muscles like him. Meanwhile an older gentlemen standing to the side was wishing all these people would stop staring at each other and move so he can do his work out. Sounds silly but yet we will look at someone’s life and covet it. Chances are someone is looking at your life right now saying “man, I wish I had that”. The lesson, BE GRATEFUL in everything (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
I know I only touched the surface of the unjustness we find. But life in general is but a vapor (James 4:14). To sit and recount everything that has ever gone wrong or everything that has failed you or even of how you think God has failed you is a waste of what little life you have. Every THING, award, status, money, cars, it ALL stays here on this side of life. 1 Timothy 6:7 says “For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.” and Psalm 49:17 the same, “for they will take nothing with them when they die, their splendor will not descend with them.”
Romans 5:19 ” For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.”
Life seems unfair when you focus on the wrong things. How can we show Christ’s love to a neighbor if we secretly covet his things? We can’t. How can we tell of what the Lord has done for us if we spend most of our time complaining about someone else getting the promotion over us? We can’t. Paul says in Gal. 6:14a “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” . To build off that thought I would say “may we never complain about what we lack but to boast in what we have in Christ”.