Christian Living

Illusions of Fairness

The flip side of getting one’s own way.

People who teach young children often hear them say the same things over and over. “It’s MY TURN!” “I’m telling on you…” And my favorite, “That’s not fair!”

Big people are, well, bigger than this of course. We’re too sophisticated to stoop to the “tit for tat” spats of childhood. Or are we?

Just four chapters into the Bible, we find someone who thought he was treated unfairly. And this “little boy” retaliated in the worst way imaginable. Cain killed his brother Abel because God favored Abel’s offering over his own. The Lord tried to intervene, but Cain wouldn’t listen.

Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at the door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.

Genesis 4:6-7

You mean I should take responsibility for my own thoughts and actions, Lord? I can CHOOSE how I respond to my feelings?

It’s time to put on my big boy pants.

“Fairness isn’t the key to happiness,” says Mitch Teemley in his recent post, Fairness is Overated. Why? “Because we never stop wanting things.” His accurate conclusion was this: while fairness in itself isn’t a bad thing, linking your personal happiness to it CAN be.

Mitch’s wise words came at just the right time. I was about to throw myself a Cain-sized pity party (minus the homicidal intentions) because something hadn’t gone my way.

Can you relate, kind reader? Maybe you have a “That’s not fair!” button too.

Don’t hit back; discover the beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.”

Romans 12:17-19 (MSG)

Photo by Randy Jacob on

By davidsdailydose

I'm just a regular guy who was
tempted to lose all hope but did not. It was God who made the difference.

32 replies on “Illusions of Fairness”

I appreciate your thoughts, brother. The Holy Spirit has literally said to me, “David, you’re sulking…” I ask God to help me write His wisdom, and many times it is I who needs it the most. Blessings!


Good post brother. I think we all have a pity button, and Satan know exactly where it is and how to push it! I pray that His Word will hold me back from self pity, and if I do stray I will hear the voice of the Spirit saying “Really Alan?!”
Thank you David for this valuable word today, may our Father God bless you today.

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It happens. Feeling that self-pity washing over me because of something I felt was unfair. But remembering God’s perfect wisdom and sovereignty stops me from indulging in self-pity. He arranges things for us. He is in control.

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I have seen this “it’s not fair” in many adults. However, if life was “fair” and everyone had the same blessings, where would be the beauty in it? Also, isn’t life fair because God gives us life to begin with?

Growing up happens the moment we realize life isn’t fair. However, while it may not be fair, it is beautiful. Hopefully, more people can see that sooner than later. Then those jealousy and wants can finally be quelled.

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I guess I always knew life was not fair. Even as a small child I knew but always tried my best to game the system and make it better than fair for me. The process of servanthood is quite a narrow path in following Jesus. I cannot count the number of times the Lord has said to me, “it was less fair to me”.

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My dad was big on that one too. “Son, the world doesn’t owe you a living,” he’d say. The new concept to me was not to tie my personal happiness to sense of fairness. Mitch was spot on about that one. Thanks for sharing!

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Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Betty. Your talkative mind is fine by me! My own grandfather was a simple farmer who was content to take what came his way. His trust that God could care for him, and also sort things out, was absolute. Thanks for stopping by today, Betty. Blessings to you and Dan!

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When I hear, “That’s not fair”, my mind immediately heard “Life isn’t fair.” That what adults seemed to always say when I was growing up. When reading your post, I heard my grandpa’s voice in my head saying, “Man will always want.” And while reading, I also heard “Vengeance is mine says the Lord.” My mind is very talkative this morning. However, it is hard to accept when something doesn’t go our way, and it is even worse when it seems unfair. Round and round my thoughts go. But eventually, during these a time like this, I hear another voice saying “there’s something better in store for you.”

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We all wants things to be fair for us but God sees the big picture and works things out according to His wisdom. So even if we feel that there is no resolution to that unfair moment, we have to trust God because He sees it all. Hopefully that reminds us to be just in how we act and also considering that the Lord forgives so much in us may we let go and forgive too.

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You’re absolutely right, Bridget! God has forgiven each of us a great debt. The least we can do is forgive others. The Lord will decide (in the end) what is ultimately “fair.” I appreciate your comment! Blessings.

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Yes it can be difficult living in an unfair and injustice world. We have to remind ourselves that God is the judge and will right all of our wrongs. And when we remember that we are on the receiving end of redemption, which we do not deserve, it really helps alter our perspective. Thank you for sharing!

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It’s a great temptation to yield to glumness, self pity and as you say the “It’s not fair!” outlook. Thanks for posting this as it has encouraged me to repost an old verse about self pity. Blessings Dave

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We tend to think of fairness in a very short term way. If we look at the Bible God often gave people what they deserved (good or bad) over years, if not decades. It can help if I remember that I am living my life before God and a lot of the things i want and consider fair see less insignificant in the context of God’s plan and provision, or even eternity. But that’s not an easy place to get to …. It’s something I am always working on.

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Yes, I’ve heard that life on the streets is a “tit for tat” existence. Thank God there is always enough in His kingdom—even if it doesn’t seem like it here on earth. 🙏May His continued blessings be on your ministry to the homeless! I always appreciate your thoughts, Rainer.

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Good post, David. I witness childlike, “tit-for-tat” behavior daily. Seeing someone get something, others start to bellow “where’s mine?” Before they saw someone get something, say a water bottle or a tote bag, they weren’t thinking they needed one. But, once they see someone else get something, then they decide they want one, too. Yes, we CAN choose our response, thankfully, and NO, we never stop wanting things…Good thoughts, brother.

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