When you understand why life is not fair, it takes some--but not all--of the sting out of the single life.
Most of us learn in elementary school that life is not fair, and it's a traumatic experience. We think everybody should like us. They don't. We think if we work hard and do the right thing, we will get ahead. Not always.
You and I thought, at one time, that if we became kind, decent people, someone would want to marry us. That would have happened if life were fair.
But it's not.
It takes an extremely mature person to realize that first, life is not fair, but second, there is something you can do about that.
If you look to the secular world for an explanation of why life is not fair, you won't find it. Oh, you may get some nonsense about the randomness of things or unrealistic expectations or a fairy tale mentality, but you won't get anything solid.
We have to look to theology for the
answer. Theology simply means the study of the nature of God. When
you're looking for dependable truth, a good place to start is the Bible.
You'll find the answer to life's unfairness in Genesis chapter 3. Commonly called "the Fall of Man," it describes Adam and Eve's sins against God. Adam and Eve were real people. This event actually happened.
The consequences of it affect you and me today. It's why life is not fair.
When sin entered the world, it stained everything: human beings, animals, plants, the weather, circumstances, and life itself. God originally created humans to be immortal, but because of sin, sickness came, along with death.
I have always taken care of my health, but I've had cancer twice. Why? Because my body--everyone's body--was never perfect. It was tainted by sin the moment I was born. It gets sick, it ages, and it will die. It's the same with you.
You've noticed, I'm sure, that many--perhaps most--of the bad things that happen to you are undeserved. You don't deserve to get sick, get downsized, have your car break down, see relationships crumble. In a perfect world, none of those things would happen, but this world is not perfect. It's not heaven.
We all have a sinful nature, every one of us, inherited from Adam. Other people's sins hurt us; our sins can hurt others. Sin has a ripple effect that reaches far and wide. Innocent people suffer in a sin-stained world.
Take time to observe, and you'll see how sin has spoiled just about everything.
Now that's a pretty depressing picture, except for one thing. Our God planned for this even before he created Earth.
One of the greatest gifts God gave to human beings is freedom. We all have a free will to make our own choices. The negative side of that is we often make bad choices, sometimes on purpose, sometimes not. We have to suffer the consequences of our own and others' bad choices.
When you understand why life is unfair, you can:
* Avoid doing things on impulse, because you rarely think of the consequences when you do that;
* Rely on wise, experienced people,
and especially the Bible, to help you make decisions that will prevent
the most trouble.
* Practice the Golden Rule, as Jesus taught, so you will bring a high level of morals and ethics to your life and the lives of people around you;
* Turn to God when things go wrong, knowing you can't confuse God and life. Life is unfair, but God is loving. He helps us get through the bad things that happen to us.
I can't explain why God doesn't step in every time and prevent our troubles. I don't know why he doesn't fix our problems immediately. I've asked that dozens of times during my own crises. Those are mysteries people have been trying to solve for thousands of years, and I don't have the answers.
But when you finally accept that life
is unfair and you know why, you'll trust God more, and that's always a
good thing. You won't blame him for your problems.
Most importantly, you'll see that a perfect life some day is not only possible, it's guaranteed to those who follow Jesus Christ. He rights all wrongs, he makes all things new, he is the sure way to the justice and fairness we all dream of.
When life is at its worst, God is still faithful. We have to endure this sinful, unfair world for a season, but those of us who follow Jesus will inherit a new, eternal life that will make us forget all the pain of this one.