Shamefully, I often care more about fairness than mercy

Posted on · Posted in Gospel, Parenting

Asking God to treat you fairly is an invitation to disaster. If God were a God of fairness, we would experience a horrible life and spend eternity in hell. Fairness has to do with justice. Fairness implies that there is something good in me; somehow my good deeds will balance out my bad deeds.

Fairness works if you and I are the only ones who matter. But we are not. God matters. If I was fully aware of the awfulness of my sin I would spend every minute of my life pleading for mercy, but I often care more about fairness than mercy. That is tragic.

My most recent post is excerpted from the portion of Get Wisdom! that deals with mercy. As I looked at these words, written by my wife, Ruth, they jumped off the page as if I had never seen them before. I was completely shaken by a truth that I have long known – fairness is what I want, but mercy is what I need.

What do your children think about fairness and mercy? How many times do you hear the cry, “that’s not fair”? How many times do you cry out the same words? We wind up being angry because we are not treated fairly, instead of being blown away by the mercy extended to us at the cross.

Your children are born with a desire for fairness, instead of pleading for mercy. Don’t be a willing accomplice to the enslavement of fairness. Recognize the mercy of Christ given to you. In gratitude tell your children about the wonders of mercy and the tyranny of fairness.

Have the courage to tell your children that mercy is showing kindness to those who are weak, sinful, and needy, because Christ loved you first when you were his enemy. Teach your children about mercy.






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Jay Younts
John A. (Jay) Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger, and is a ruling elder serving at Redeemer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He has written Everyday Talk, Everyday Talk About Sex & Marriage, Finding the Right Track, the In Touch With Paul stewardship series, and What About War. He has studied and taught about biblical childrearing for 30 years. He and his late wife Ruth have five adult children.