“Not fair!” Whether you’ve said it or at least thought it, you’ve got to admit, it’s hard to see someone get away with something and not get what they deserve. We learn this early in life. Just ask the parent of any teenager. Kids hate to see their siblings get off scot-free for the things they got spanked for. Which is why they so readily tattle on each other. But then, we never really grow out of this. To our way of thinking, fairness means sinners deserve God’s wrath and we, the good people, deserve His applause.
But if God were into being “fair,” we would all be consumed by His judgment! We can be thankful for this: “[God] has not dealt with us according to our sins” (Ps. 103:10). We should be glad, not grumpy, that God chooses mercy over fairness and that He is willing to extend grace even to those who are undeserving and hopelessly lost. And while we are thinking about it, when was the last time we let mercy trump fairness with someone who offended us?
It’s not God’s fairness but His mercy that drives Him to pursue us so that heaven can have a party when we are found (Luke 15:7). Personally, I’m thankful that God has not been “fair” with me! Aren’t you?
Favor to the undeserving;
Love, when from God we have turned;
Mercy, when His love we’ve spurned—
That’s God’s grace! —Anon.
We can show mercy to others because God has shown mercy to us.