Monday, April 16, 2012

Fair and Loving

I’ve got a new book, and I was just reading a chapter about fairness and how very unfair life is. Always. Isn’t it interesting, though, that we still demand fairness from the universe? No matter how much evidence we have that good people don’t always get the good things and bad people often do, that this is a given in life, that there is no avoiding it, we still feel the affront when we don’t get something we think we deserve.

I suppose it’s because almost all of us believe in God – or at least in some good and just force active in the universe. (In fact, the atheist who demands justice of mankind seems to be betraying his own dogma, don’t you think?)

I have a rather frightening thought: what if God really isn’t that concerned about fairness, at least the way we define it? What if he thinks LOVE is more important than justice? What if love and fairness are not necessarily always compatible?

It is fair to equally require all of my children to do their chores before dinnertime. But it is love to give a temporary pass to the son who was rejected that day by his crush and is lying heartbroken on his bed.

It is justice to fire the employee who has failed to meet expectations for the umpteenth time after repeated warnings. It is love to sit down with him and help him figure out why he keeps failing.

It is justice to send an unrepentant sinner to hell. It is love to take his punishment on yourself. Yes, I think there’s no denying that, while God is a God of justice, He sets love as the greater good. Jesus lists the two greatest commandments to be “Love God” and “Love your neighbor.” I think if we focus on being truly loving, we will not need to worry about if we’re being fair.

And I think this principle can be applied to our “class warfare” battles today. What if the rich were encouraged to give – not their “fair share” – but their most loving share? What if the poor, rather than protesting a lack of justice in the world, decried the lack of love in the world – and began the revolution by loving even those who take advantage of them?

As I said, just a thought. And perhaps a frightening one, at that.

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