Monday, July 13, 2009

the burden of a blessed life

my kids are always complaining because life is unfair; somebody always has something better and they are doing without. i always say, 'son, the number one thing i want to teach you is that life *is* unfair. get used to it.' they are not happy with that response... and up until now, i can't say that i blame them. by saying it that way, it gives them nothing to look forward to.

when my boys think about things being unfair, it is usually as a negative trait. they don't think about how unfair it is that they have things that someone else doesn't: toys, clothes, food, freedom, smarts, abundance; they think about the things they lack: bigger toys, better clothes, different food, more freedom, etc. i can relate to their complaint because i used to think it too. sometimes i wondered what makes one person 'lucky' and another person not?

now, my perspective of unfairness is radically different. unfairness isn't something to lament about; it is something to praise. why?

a friend said "i am glad life is not fair. grace is not fair."

wow!! those are life-changing words. he meant, of course, that we do not deserve grace and yet receive it anyway. unfairness = a blessing. it really touched me and got me thinking.

what if the world were 'fair'? what if we got what we deserved? what if karma were real and not just an idea used to cope with the unworthy prospering instead of us? what if we had to face how unworthy WE are?

which got me to thinking even more. what do we do with the blessing that we are given? if grace is handed to us even though we don't deserve it, do we have an obligation to do something with it?

as christians, we carry a burden because we don't get what we deserve. furthermore, we KNOW we don't deserve the grace we are shown. there are many people out there right now (maybe even reading this blog, if i may flatter myself) that think just being a 'good' person is enough. that think good things will happen to them because they are 'good'. that question why bad things happen to 'good' people.

life IS unfair. that is an unarguable fact.

we know that as 'good' as those people are, they are never good enough. they fall short because of sin. the sin they commit will cause suffering. it is awesome that God's answer to suffering was... suffering. God took away our suffering through his own.

we carry a responsibility because we live a blessed life. we need to share God's grace with everyone that we can. it doesn't take 'luck' to receive grace, all it takes is belief and for us to share it with them. it is hard to think of 'unfair' in a positive way when our life seems to be going to crap and someone else is getting something bigger, better, or nicer than us. just because the unfairness doesn't FEEL like a blessing, doesn't make it any less true.

from now on, instead of thinking about life being unfair in negative terms, i am going to be content with the fact that life is unfair. because i was given grace.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. no, you are right, nicole. we do have a responsiblity to fight social injustice especially for the least of these (matthew 25:40), even though the poor will always be around (john 12:8, deuteronomy 15:11).

    what i meant when i said i would be content in unfairness was directed towards the jealousy i have when someone else gets something that i covet. i will remind myself that while i my want that and find it unfair that they have it and i don't (...and i really deserve it and they don't), i am blessed because i have much i don't deserve, including God forgiving me without question.

    i, in no way advocate, obsolving myself or others from caring for those less fortunate. that is part of the burden i was trying to identify.

    thanks for your comment!

  3. Thank you so much for your response. You have answered all my questions :)


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