How many times have you heard this conversation?

“That’s just not fair” he yelled. “He hit me first. Why do I have to go to my room?”

or

“Fair? FAIR? You want fair? Okay I’ll give you fair……”

Or how about this one—

“If God is a fair God, why did He let such a bad thing happen?”

Or even this one…

“All I want is for you to treat me fairly.”

I was taught a huge lesson this week. The sad thing is that I am almost 42 years old and I am just now figuring this out. As to spare myself further embarrassment I will not go into the details of my short comings. Let’s just say I was acting like a 42 year old going on 8 (it had to do with my bicycle).

The root of this problem was this little four letter word F A I R. Somewhere along the line, I learned that life is supposed to be fair. Or, at the least, I am supposed to treat people fairly. But let’s just evaluate this concept; my fear is that a lot of us were taught this very same thing as we grew up.

Do you really want to be treated fairly?

A business opportunity was presented one time and the one making the offer made a little speech that went something like this:

“I am so excited about the chance to get to work with you all. You appear to be very trustworthy, I am the same way. You can depend on that, I always carry my share of the load. If you do me right, I’ll do you right! But cross me, and you won’t like it. Mess with me, and I’ll mess with you right back. Treat me right and I’ll treat you right. Now, that sounds fair doesn’t it? I think this partnership will work out just fine!”

Whoa, back up the fairness train here. Did he really say that as long as we do what he thinks is right then everything will be good? Well…, yes that is exactly what he said.

Is that fair? Well…, YES! That is exactly what fair is. Tit for Tat, Eye for an eye, you know–playing fair.

What really is fair?  We can spiritualize it and say, do unto others…or we can explain it rationally and say that it means to treat one another justly. I have even been told my whole life that God is fair. I was even told one time that the reason God had to give us free will is that he had to be fair to the angels. Now, that is a concept way to deep to even attempt to discuss.

Is fair really a good standard?  I think fair falls way short of what we all really want.  Fair really means “I do unto you the same evil (or good) that you do unto me.”  That is not a good standard on which to base our lives.  I like the idea of grace better.  That is God’s standard.  Grace means undeserved love or unmerited favor. That means we should not do unto others as they do unto us, but we should do unto others that which is based on what is best for them, love.  Sometimes even tough love.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t like this playing fair thing. If I make a mistake, then playing fair says it is okay for the other person to do the same thing back to me. I don’t want fair, I want better than fair. I want to be in a relationship–business, family, friendship or otherwise–that when I make a mistake the other person lifts me up and helps me overcome the problem, not stomp on me when I’m down. I don’t want what I deserve. I deserve eternity in HELL!!!  I don’t want what is fair.

Fair is settling.  It is a lie straight from the pits of Hell, but yet we teach our children to treat others fairly. Fair sounds good, but fair does not work. Fair will ruin every relationship that you ever have. I spent a lot of my life justifying my own anger and actions towards people because it was fair, or in other words, they got what they deserved.

The fair mentality says, “if he can’t pick up after himself then I won’t talk to him…that’s what he deserves. I’ll just won’t talk to him for a little while and ‘see how he likes it.  Ya, and maybe next time he will refill the toilet paper after using the last sheet!!! That’ll teach him.” Now, how silly does that sound? But it happens; people really withdraw their love by giving the silent treatment for silly little things like these. But that is what the fair mentality tells us to do. I’ll hurt you because you hurt me.

Is God really fair? No absolutely not! God is just, but not fair, that my friend is a very good thing.

I for one will not live a FAIR life any longer!

How about you?

Romans 12 17-18

Do not repay anyone evil for evil.

Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone.

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you,

live at peace with everyone.

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