It’s not fair!

no fair

“It’s not FAIR!”

How many times we who are parents have heard these words from our children! As much as we try, they still find inequity, and they can be quick to let us know.

Not only children, but adults can also be prone to voice the same complaint. Using more mature terminology, of course, but just reading the news we find an abundance of discontent due to people’s perception of injustice done to them. Righteous or not, many causes are fueled by people’s feelings of entitlement. We have rights, you know!

The process of human maturity is simply our learning that we are not the center of the universe. A baby is born with no consciousness of others’ needs. As we grow physically, hopefully we will also mature emotionally and socially. Some children progress rapidly in their ability to respond to the needs of others, but unfortunately many adults have a hard time leaving selfishness behind.

I used to think that true maturity and unselfishness would be to accept the fact that life isn’t fair, and be able to bear a reasonable amount of unfairness toward us without acting out like a two-year-old. But I can see now that maturity goes a step further; “not fair” does have a place in our unselfish vocabulary.

  • It’s not fair that I have so much comfort when others around me have so little.
  • It’s not fair that children should be deprived of their childhood and education to help support their families.
  • It’s not fair that young girls suffer abuse that changes the course of their lives by becoming adolescent mothers.
  • It’s not fair that I should enjoy a right relationship with God when others have not even had the opportunity to meet Him.

And the list goes on.

Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all the needy. Open your mouth, judge righteousness, and defend the poor and needy. (Prov. 31:8-9)

True maturity and unselfishness is more than just turning the other cheek when we are wronged.  May we grow in willingness to sacrifice some of our comfort to bring comfort to others.

Faith in the shadows

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But the path of the righteous ones is like the light of dawn, leading and shining until the day is full. (Proverbs 4:18)

I was praying this morning with my eyes closed as the sun was rising. Even with my eyes closed I could sense the brightness of the sun, but for a brief moment that light was interrupted. I knew without having seen it that a bird had flown by.

The thought came to me, isn’t that just like life? How could a bird, so small in comparison, block the immensity of the sun? It was because the bird was so close to me. The situations in our lives can be so close to us that they block our view of God, casting their shadow on us for a moment.

But what about those longer periods of darkness, when the night comes upon our soul without even the reflection of the moon to give us light? At those times we need to remember that even the whole earth, which stands between us and the sun, is absolutely tiny in comparison to the immensity of the sun.

The darkness is nothing more than the earth’s shadow on us, and the same turning that brought us into the shadow will also take us back into the light. Our faith is the conviction that the sun shines even if we can’t see it, and that faith combined with patience will enable us to endure without losing our hope.