When fairness is wrong

Posted in

“That’s not fair!” If you’ve heard that once, you’ve heard it a thousand times, right? On the surface “fairness” sounds noble and right. But if you probe a little deeper, you might change your perspective just a bit. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not opposed to making sure values are applied fairly. But when misused, values can be replaced making fairness the sole determiner of “what is right or wrong.” Fairness can become self-serving.

Our sense of fairness is based on our perception of reality. Therefore it will almost always be inaccurate to some degree. An individual can rarely perceive objective fairness. So, when real life goes against our perceptions of what we think should be fair, it creates anger, pain, fear, a sense of rejection.

Consider this example. Mary at work gets a promotion. You didn’t. You might feel resentful because you think that you know what is fair, and no one else does. The reality is “life isn’t always fair.” If you look at life judging whether something is ‘fair’ or not, you will end up feeling resentful, angry, and unhappy because of it. Things will not always work out in a person’s favor, even when they should and it’s something we all need to deal with.

Here’s my suggestion. Instead of fairness being the only guide, consider justice. Look for the objective right and wrong of the Scriptures. Psalms 37:27-29 Turn from evil and do good; then you will dwell in the land forever.  For the LORD loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones. Wrongdoers will be completely destroyed; the offspring of the wicked will perish.  The righteous will inherit the land and dwell in it forever.

Worried about your pastor? Take the first step today.