Unrest! Injustice! Turmoil! Sickness! Death! These are just a few of the words I’d use to describe the state of our nation right now. I’ve spent a good bit of time pondering the events in our world in the past few weeks. Thankfully, I’ve also been spending time in the Word of God. The conclusion that I’ve come to right now is, LIFE is NOT fair! It isn’t supposed to be. If you are like me you have uttered the phrase, “That’s not fair!” more times than you’d care to admit and perhaps your kids have tried to use that phrase to declare injustice done to them by a parent, sibling, or even teacher.
What is a Biblical response to what happened to George Floyd? What about to the riots? What about to the COVID-19 medical and resulting economic crisis? Although I do have some thoughts, that is not what I feel God is calling me to share with you right now. Primarily, I hope to shift your perspective to focus on the truth of the Gospel and how this should impact my point of view. Romans 6:23 tells us, “The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” I want to break that down for you to help you understand why I believe life is not fair and why it shouldn’t be. A wage is what we earn for what we’ve done. You earn a wage for the job you do in your employment. So, what we earn for the sin we have done is death. The Greek for “death” that used is in this verse is “thanatos”. When we think of the term “death” we usually just mean death of the body but the Greek includes separation of the soul from the body that includes the idea of future misery in hell (Lexicon:: Strong’s G2288). In summary, what we have earned for the sin we have done is eternal damnation in hell, separated from God and suffering physically and spiritually. But, God is His merciful grace, has offered us eternal life IN His presence. This is a free gift to us that was costly to His Son. To receive this free gift, all we need to do is accept Jesus’ sacrificial death on our behalf and place our faith in Him. We have to accept that He died on our behalf and that we cannot earn our way to heaven based on how good we’ve been. Because even if we only sinned one time, that makes us deserving of eternity in hell. NO! Life is NOT fair! That is because it is so much better than it should be - we should be damned to hell. But, we are not. God is not a fair God; He is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in love (Psalm 103:8).
This is not to say that I have not seen things in our nation that are wrong that I oppose. Racism is a horrendous sin. ALL men were made in the image of God - black, white, yellow, brown, etc. My fellow black man is an image bearer. All people should have value. African Americans have faced injustices that I know about, but so many that I cannot imagine. Our response must begin with a change of the heart and we must do our part to look for relationship with those different than us. As a follower of Jesus, I believe one action I can take is to speak up when I see people being mistreated and be willing to correct those in positions of influence. The change needs to start with me. I sincerely hope that the events of our world will be a catalyst for change for the reconciliation of racial divisions. But, more than that, I honestly hope this will draw more people to respond to the good news of Jesus Christ. At any time, that is the BEST news, but especially now. When you think life is not fair - you are right; it isn’t fair because you deserve hell! Anything better than that is grace.
My thoughts were influenced by the Bible study I am working through right now called, “Missing Pieces: Real Hope When Life Doesn’t Make Sense,” by Jennifer Rothschild.