And there are degrees of unfairness in life. We may experience little, or “light” unfair-ities, like a store refusing to honor our coupon, work refusing our vacation request, or getting stuck picking up the dog poop in the yard…again.
Then there are the bigger “I’m really getting burned” unfair-ities in life:
Not being able to get a loan to buy a house. Getting laid off from work with no notice, getting hurt or sick, or wrongly accused.
Suddenly dog poop doesn’t seem so bad, and we’ve only scratched the surface of the number of unfair-ities we could list. There are three big ones going on in my life right now. How about you?
What should we do about unfairness? I would so love to whine, throw a tantrum and ask you to join my pity party. We could even stage an “occupy earth” event on my block. You know, to call attention to the fact that life is unfair!
Everyone would have the freedom to put their whiny-ness on display and gather more supporters for the movement. The life is unfair movement.
Okay, I may be pushing the analogy a little too far, but those “occupy” people have made me consider how I approach the unfair issues in my own life. The big and the little ones.
Do I become easily outraged? Hmmm…yup, I’d have to say that my injustice tolerance is pretty low.
Do I respond by trying to recruit others to join me in protesting the unfairness? Yup again. “Let me tell you what happened to me…you won’t believe it!”
Do I try to “fix” things by trying to convince those “in the wrong” that I am right? Yup. (Strangely, they don’t respond well to this.)
Do any of these responses help the unfairness of life to go away? Nope. Nope, and nope.
Life is still unfair.
So what should we do about unfairness in life?
Specifically, what should we do about it when life is unfair to us?
God spoke His word to me today when I read the Message translation of Psalm 37:3-6:
“Get insurance with God and do a good deed, settle down and stick to your last. Keep company with God, get in on the best.
Open up before God, keep nothing back; he’ll do whatever needs to be done: He’ll validate your life in the clear light of day and stamp you with approval at high noon.”
I know these verses well from a different translation. But today, God wanted to speak to me in a new way, give me a new perspective on His Word, and show me how to handle the unfair-ities going on in my life.
What should I do when life’s unfair?
- Do a good deed.
- Settle down, trust in the Lord.
- Keep company with God.
- Be honest with God about the unfair issue.
- Trust in His faithfulness to defend the truth and bring justice.
Armed with this new revelation, I think I’ll stop now and head off to “occupy” a comfy chair and spend some time in the company of God doing these things:
- Spending quality time with Him.
- Pouring out my heart to Him (aren’t you glad you don’t have to listen to my whining?).
- Settling down in my spirit as I remember that I live in this unfair world, but with God’s help I can live beyond my circumstances.
- Recommitting my heart to place my trust in Him and praying for the strength to stop trying to make things right on my own.
- Praying for God to turn my heart toward doing good for others and away from my self-focused “life is unfair” pity party.
How about you?
What will you do with the unfair-ities in your life today?
Here’s a little more of God’s Word for us to “chew on.” (Can you tell I love the dog examples in these verses?)
Psalm 37: 12-19; 30-31; 39-40:
“Bad guys have it in for the good guys, obsessed with doing them in. But God isn’t losing any sleep; to him they’re a joke with no punch line.
Bullies brandish their swords, pull back on their bows with a flourish. They’re out to beat up on the harmless, or mug that nice man out walking his dog. A banana peel lands them flat on their faces—slapstick figures in a moral circus.
Less is more and more is less. One righteous will outclass fifty wicked, For the wicked are moral weaklings but the righteous are God-strong.
God keeps track of the decent folk; what they do won’t soon be forgotten. In hard times, they’ll hold their heads high; when the shelves are bare, they’ll be full…
Righteous chews on wisdom like a dog on a bone, rolls virtue around on his tongue. His heart pumps God’s Word like blood through his veins; his feet are as sure as a cat’s…
The spacious, free life is from God, it’s also protected and safe. God-strengthened, we’re delivered from evil—when we run to him, he saves us.”
Running to God as fast as I can,
© Linda Crawford, Sunny Side Up (not scrambled), 2011. All rights reserved.