“BUT THAT’S NOT FAIR!!”
Ever screamed that as a kid? (Yeah, me neither.)
As kids, we just know there are rules for fairness—somewhere. Mention the fairness doctrine and a lot of folks assume you’re getting theological. But there is no fairness doctrine in Scripture.
- Be glad there is no fairness doctrine in the Bible.
- God offers us something far better than fairness.
I’ll come back to these two ideas, but first, let me tell you where you might have heard about the fairness doctrine.
Television. It used to be a FCC ruling for your TV. Broadcasters were expected to expose us to a variety of viewpoints. They were to devote a portion of their airtime to controversial topics, and with those topics they were to present different viewpoints. Through talk shows, editorials, or news stories, the stations were expected to treat all sides of an issue fairly.
The policy was removed in 1987, and that decision is still debated. Did the fairness doctrine help or hurt the first amendment right to free speech?
If you want fairness, write Congress. Or ask your mom to cut equal size pieces of cake. But don’t ask God.
You don’t want fairness from God.
Isn’t it only right and fair that if a person breaks a federal law, he gets punished? When a person gets off scott-free, maybe with only a hand-slap for what he did, we cry foul. We want justice. That’s being fair.
If God was fair, He would just give you what your sins deserve. He is a God of righteousness and justice, and sin will be dealt with. So if all you want is fairness, expect death and eternal destruction. Because that’s what you deserve—and that’s fair.
But God also offers grace. God loves you deeply, but that does not mean He will simply dismiss your sin. His righteousness and justice will not allow that. So God paid the penalty for your sin Himself. Jesus took the punishment you deserve as His own.
That’s hardly fair! No, it’s not. That’s grace.
In our cries for fairness, we can be sure that God will ultimately make all things right.
“God will bring into judgment both the righteous and the wicked, for there will be a time for every activity, a time to judge every deed” (Ecc. 3:17).
“Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favoritism” (Col. 3:25).
But there is a way out of what’s fair—the justice and punishment you deserve.
Turn your sins over to Christ. Confess them. Repent. Turn from them. Trust in Christ and His death on your behalf. Let His forgiveness sweep over you and remove every sin.
And when your sins are gone, so is the justice you deserve. Jesus took it all.
“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Pet. 3:9).
That’s not fair; that’s grace.
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This post supports the study “Our Righteousness” in Bible Studies for Life.
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