Posts Tagged ‘fairness’

unfairHow many times have I heard my children complain about a decision of mine not being fair? No matter that last year or month or week, a similar decision probably benefited the complainer, but it’s all about the moment and it’s all about them. It’s unfair today. I can even remember counting Christmas presents when they were little to be sure the numbers came out even (I created my own monster). To what end? But am I any different when it comes to the things of God?

The older brother got really angry and refused to come inside, so his father came out and pleaded with him to join the celebration. But he argued back, “Listen, all these years I’ve worked hard for you. I’ve never disobeyed one of your orders. But how many times have you even given me a little goat to roast for a party with my friends? Not once! This is not fair!  [Luke 15:28-29, The Voice translation]

I am questioning God’s judgment all the time. Whenever I look around and compare myself and my situation to those around me, I am judging God’s direction. When I get frustrated with my children, my marriage, my body,  my aging, and more, I am actually saying my life could be better if only. . . !

But would it really? They say people tend to re-create their negative circumstances even when given a fresh start. Women divorce to get a better husband and find the next one equally unbearable. Running away from what is does nothing but delay the learning.

I am who I am. I have many gifts and I have many flaws. I am a follower of One God. And I have said over and over again that I trust that God to protect me and guide me. That journey will never look like anyone else’s journey.

Fairness is relative. When my children accuse me of being unfair, I want to scream! Everything I do for them and with them, is for their good, for love, for a future. Circumstances will never appear particularly fair. One day, they will learn that lesson too.

God forgive me for my own childish tantrums.

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The Enliven Project (on sexual violence)

The Enliven Project (on sexual violence)

There’s a part of me that appreciates the anger and determination to make things right after the rape of Dinah. In today’s news, there was a report on the percentage of rapes reported out of a 1000 (5-25%), prosecuted (9 – not percent, but a number), and of the 9, only 5 become felony convictions. (See Enliven Project) And yet. . .

Genesis 34: 13a, 15, 25

Because their sister Dinah had been defiled, Jacob’s sons replied deceitfully . . . We will enter into an agreement with you on one condition only: that you become like us by circumcising all your males. . . .  Three days later, while all of them were still in pain, two of Jacob’s sons, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brothers, took their swords and attacked the unsuspecting city, killing every male.

And this is always the challenge when confronting our personal sense of betrayal with God’s. It’s not that God cannot work decisively in the face of evil (note Sodom and Gomorrah), but the point here is that God prefers having the vindication God’s way.

“But, but, but” I say, “Your way is so slow. I want to see the revenge. I want to feel it. I want to bathe in it. It’s my right. Isn’t it? Isn’t it? Is it?”

When humans take on the role of avenger, we tend to overdo it. After 9/11, we raped a country in the name of weapons of mass destruction. And in the end, more were lost, including our own. Evil is portrayed throughout history and every push back takes us one more step closer to annihilation. Soon, I’m sure, the next payback will be nuclear. And what then?

Whether it’s on a world scale or a personal exoneration, we will not handle it well. Even our court system has gotten all muddled up and in the name of fairness, the guilty go free because one lawyer was craftier than the other.

We are all still living Romeo and Juliet or the Hatfields and McCoys.

Yesterday, my pastor at Restore Church, talked about people being the “Sin Police.” We judge and demand, we compare and we condemn. All in the name of righteousness. It’s not a good plan.

Will God avenge the good? Is God sovereign? Can God operate even in this mucked up generation? I believe. But I have to make room for the ways of God.

“There is a way that seems right to a man [human], but in the end it leads to death.” [Proverbs 14:12]

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I understand; I get it. Sharing is a sacrifice but I don’t like it. I think about the times I told my kids to share and I remember the look of incredulity. After all, sharing meant giving away what the one had in his hand.

Hebrews 13:16
And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.

Oh sure, there are times that sharing might mean cutting something in half (or less), but more often than not, it’s giving it over, supposedly for a season, a short time, a shared time. But it never seems to work out that way from a kid’s perspective. And honestly, probably not from an adult perspective either when it comes to my lifestyle, my bank account, my comfort.

I’m afraid of it. OK. It also makes me mad sometimes.

I grew up with a strong work ethic and quite honestly, I can get somewhat scornful of people who don’t meet their obligations or hold up their end of the stick or break agreements or walk away from responsibilities. I can throw attitude with the best of them at deadbeat dads, plagiarizing students, and philandering husbands. I can get quite puffed up and think, “how dare they?”

After all, if I do my work, why shouldn’t they? If I hang in there, why shouldn’t she? If I earned the money, why must I share it with you? I suffered, so should you. I gave up what I wanted to do to make this life, so should you. After all, I walked to school twenty miles, in the snow, up hill: why shouldn’t my kids? They don’t appreciate hard work. They’re just spoiled.

On and on and on the mind drones. And why? Because God has asked me to share what I have with those who don’t. God even calls it a sacrifice (an offering, the surrender of something valuable for a higher cause). And there’s the point: the sacrifice is not about the worthiness of the other person — capable or not, low born or high, lazy or energetic — it’s about God.

“But, but, but . . . ,” my little self says inside, “they’ll take advantage of me!!!!”

God smiles (in that enigmatic spirit way) and seems to say, “That may be, that may very well be. But the laws of paradox and generosity, selflessness and love, pay back in ways untold. Trust me.”

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