We all know that life isn’t fair. It is human nature to want “fairness”, but what is fair? Most preserved injustices are decisions made that benefit someone else to the detriment of ourselves. We have all had situations like these: the boss’s nephew getting a promotion over you, losing out on a scholarship to someone who hasn’t worked as hard, getting a notice from the IRS that you are being audited even though you have done everything correctly. It is in times like these where we mutter that life is not fair!
It is times like these that we must turn towards God and see that he is not always impartial. The scales of justice may be blind to circumstances, but Jesus was not. Jesus gave widows, orphans, immigrants and the poor additional attention. He taught his followers to care for those who have been dealt an unjust hand in life. We should not just look at all situations with equal regard for everyone involved. We need to take into account individual circumstances and intertwine justice with righteousness.
In the end those who work for God will all be rewarded. Jesus explains this in the parable of the vineyard owner, a story of an employer who pays the same wage to the worker hired at the very end of the day as he did to the worker hired first thing in the morning. The early morning workers do not think this is fair treatment, even though they agreed to work for the ending wage. These workers believe that they deserve more! In our lives we often feel that we aren’t getting the admiration, respect, or outcome that we think we deserve. On the other hand are there not times that we don’t get the consequence or punishment that we also deserve? The good news for us is that through God’s grace and mercy we receive unmerited rewards and undeserved forgiveness.