- One child gets something and the other doesn’t: “Mom, it’s not fair!”
- The other child is punished and the other, apparently less so: “Mom, it’s not fair!”
- I say “no” to sweets for the third time in a store: “Mom, it’s not fair!”
On occasion, I respond theologically: “If we got what we deserved, what was fair, we’d all be roasting in hell right now.”
For some reason, that response only buys me stares (of disbelief, incomprehension, or simple disgust, I’m not sure).
The Matthew 20 passage is a great one about fairness. It’s fascinating to me that our gut tells us it’s not “fair” that the guys who worked fewer hours got paid the same as the guys who worked all day.
It just doesn’t feel right. But when logic rules, it’s totally “fair.” Everyone got what they agreed to get.
And some people received more per hour, simply by showing up late – a gift of sheer grace, but not unfair to the rest, although the rest would strongly disagree.
Grace is the leveling field. Whatever we’ve done, or not, we all get something none of us deserved. In fact – and this is hard for me to get my head around – we really do deserve hell. That’s why our redemption required the cross of Jesus.
I think I need to understand better what I truly deserve, what’s fair, in order to more deeply understand what Jesus did for ME (not in my head, but deep within).
I need to understand that I was last and by God’s grace ALONE, I will be first.
But sometimes, it’s just words. Sigh.
(One of these days I’ll have more time to really ponder a verse, but at least I am staying in the Scriptures daily).
Readings: Exodus 9:1-10:29, Psalm 17:6-25, Proverbs 5:21-23, Matthew 20:1-16. See About for what I’m up to with these daily posts.