I suppose the most often asked question is, “Why?”. I would also guess that the most common complaint is, “It isn’t fair!” We go through life confused and complaining about things being unfair. We apply that to just about everything, from the ref’s call in a ballgame to death and a lot of things in between. Right now you could make a long list of things you consider to be unfair.
Just about everyone wants to be treated fairly and we are very resentful of those who do otherwise. Some folks even get angry with God, because He seems to be unfair toward them. They live everyday with bitterness in their heart and they are miserable. This isn’t a new problem.
In Matthew chapter 20 we read a story, told by Jesus, about the owner of a vineyard who had hired workers to labor in his vineyard. Some were hired early in the morning, others at 9am, noon, 3pm, and 5pm. All were promised a fair wage. Then at sundown the wages were handed out, beginning with those who were hired last. That’s when the trouble began! When those who were hired first saw that those who were hired last received the same pay “they murmured against the goodman of the house”(Matt. 20:11). Although they had agreed to the wage they received it seemed unfair to them that others, who had worked less, received the same. The owner’s response was,”Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own?”. Of course we all know that the answer is “yes”, but we conveniently forget that when it involves us. We feel God has short-changed us, and we don’t like it, and we feel justified in complaining about it.
The men in that parable had no right to complain. They were treated fairly. They only complained because they were coveteous. That’s what got them into trouble and it’s the same with us. The problem is that we don’t understand that everything we have is a result of grace, not merit.
We get all bent out of shape when things don’t go our way, because we think we deserve more, bigger, and better. We suppose that we are earning our way with God and we think we know what the reward should be. We complain because God doesn’t live-up to our expectations.
The cure for our complaint about life being “unfair” is to realize that we don’t deserve anything. I know–that’s a blow to our pride, but it is the truth, and that’s the only thing that will set us free. Pride causes us to be self-righteous, just like those Jesus was dealing with in this parable. That always gets us into trouble.
If we could see ourselves as we really are, sinful and vile, we would see no reason to complain. If we got what we deserved we would all be in hell–that would be fair! It is only because Christ suffered, bled, and died to pay our sin debt that we can be delivered from getting what we deserve. No, God isn’t “fair”–He is gracious and that’s a lot better!
Regardless of all the bad and painful things that could happen to us, we all have it better than we deserve. Although, at times I do complain, and I am ashamed of it, I have no right to do so. I’m just a sinner saved by grace, supplied by grace, and sustained by grace. I am undeserving of every good thing I have and I deserve worse than the worst thing that could happen to be. I have no reason to complain about anything. I’ll tell you what isn’t fair—it is unfair to accuse God of being unfair! Jeremiah helps us put it all the proper perspective. He said,”It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed—.”–Lamentations 3:22. THINK ABOUT IT!