It's Not Fair

Sometime in the Spring of 2015, I had to travel across the Atlantic on a long journey home. It was a long trip, and because I had a stopover in Doha, Qatar, to visit brethren we left behind in our Parish, it translated to a long time for me in the air between the flights. The natural implication is that I had to occupy myself with something during the flight to avoid feeling too bored. And this I did with the in-flight entertainment offered by Qatar Airways. Therein I watched a movie titled "Still Alice." I do not intend to bore the readers here with the detail of that movie, but it's a movie I can recommend to anyone. However, the subject of this write-up was inspired by a statement made by the lead character in this movie to her daughter during a heated discussion; it simply says. "I am your mother, I am not supposed to be fair".

What do I see in this statement, and how does it resonate with me? It strikes me because I know if my parents were to be fair to me in all my dealings with them, I would not be where I am today. There were so many things I wanted to do as a small child that I could not do because, to my old folks, it's a no "BRAINER" and should not even come close to a discussion point. To me, then, that was not fair. These were my choices; denying me the opportunity to express myself in that light denies me what I wanted. On reflection now, they may not have sounded fair to me, but they were excellent parents. As you read this piece, can you bear witness with me on this conclusion? Being unfair does not translate to not being good. In the same vein, if I am to be fair to my kids today, I could lose them, not because I don't love them, but because I am not acting like a good parent. Therefore, we must differentiate between good and fair in a child's upbringing. There are many things kids would love to do, but only some things are good for them, physically, spiritually and mentally. Indeed the scripture says....."There is a way that seemeth right to a man, but the end thereof is destruction" Prov. 14:12
And with that scriptural reference, I think it's about time I link this up again with the title of this write-up, " IF GOD WERE TO BE FAIR".

As Christians, we are children of the living God, and no matter how old we may be, we are all but a child in the eyes and heart of the Lord. As I was putting this down, I searched the scripture to see if I could see a reference scripture that says "God is Fair" I am lost trying to do that; maybe I am limited in my knowledge. However, I realize that everything God does is with a purpose in mind, it's all about the end result. How he accomplished may or may not be fair, but the primary purpose of God is for us to have an expected end. That is why the Bible says, " I know my thought towards you, they are of peace and not of evil, for you to have a future and a hope." ( Jeremiah 29:11). So, it means God our Father is not only mindful of the present, is also interested in our future. And because he knows the end from the beginning, he does everything to lead us toward that objective. But do we always see it that way?

There are several instances in the scripture where one can, from human points of view, "naturally" say that the directive given by God was not fair. But I have also seen the implication of following or disobeying those seemingly unfair directives in all those cases. A clear example can be seen in the life of ABRAHAM. It sounds unfair for God to have asked him to offer his son as a sacrifice to him or even to leave his family and be separated from all he had come to know as home and go somewhere not defined. But that obedience was the foundation of the faith you and I have today. It seems unfair for the children of Israel to be asked to eliminate the occupants of the land they were taking over. Something rational or politically correct could have been; take over their land, rule over them and let them be subjected to you. But as we could see in many instances that these directives were not fully implemented, it caused problems for the children of Israel as the strangers amongst them caused them to fall into sin. It implies that God knew why he asked for them to be eliminated. What of Zachariah and Elizabeth? They served God faithfully for years, yet they had no child. Someone could say that was not fair. But God showed forth his goodness to them in His time. They did not just have a son; they had a unique child in John the Baptist.

In our day-to-day living as CHRISTIANS today, there are so many things we could have loved to do, but the word of God is very instructive about his expectations from us as his children. We want him to do so many things for us that have yet to materialize. Do we say God is unfair in restricting us from expressing ourselves or doing what we think is fair for us? For example, is it fair to turn the other cheek, having been slapped on the other, as expressed in the scripture? Was it fair for Elijah to have asked the Widow of Zarapeth to prepare a meal for him before she could prepare anything for herself and her child, knowing fully well that that was her last meal? And if I use the same analogy, is it fair for me to pay my tithe knowing I have financial obligations and challenges ahead of me that I find difficult to meet? The Mariners thought it was unfair for them to throw JONAH into the Sea and struggled with that decision. In the process, they lost their possessions (The Bible says they threw their belongings into the Sea instead of throwing JONAH). As you read this, think about it, are there instances that it has crossed your mind if the experience you are going through in your relationship with God is fair?

Sometimes we find ourselves in a position whereby we try to rationalize the word of God. In some cases, we conclude that in this contemporary world, the rational thing to do is to follow our thoughts or what is more appealing to the world rather than the word of God. Let me be clear; the word of God may be old in time, but it is valuable and relevant for all seasons. No wonder the scriptures say, " it has been inspired by the Holy Ghost and it is for instruction for the singular purpose of ensuring that we are fully in tune with God's expectations and desires for us " (2 Tim. 3:16, paraphrased). My personal experience has been that if I can only focus on what God says, God will take control of what I see. It doesn't matter whether it is fair or not, but it does matter I am in obedience to His word. I hold onto the scriptures in Psalm 34:8 " O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him." May you experience the goodness of God in every area of your life. Amen.

My conclusion is that, no matter what we think, it is not just about fairness but about our God's Goodness. And I can tell you, GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME. Where would I be today if God were to be fair as I wanted or imagined? And where would you be today?


Pastor Toks Balogun

1 Comment

Elijah Oluwapojuwo - April 17th, 2023 at 5:47pm

Thank you Lord for not being fair but always GOOD at all times to me and my family.