Life Isn’t Fair

March 30-April 12

“Life isn’t fair.” How many times have we been told that since we were children? Only a million, right? I can think of some of my personal, petty experiences that I think are unfair. I think it’s unfair that I have to shave and Conner doesn’t. Right now, my daughter thinks it’s extremely unfair that I won’t pick up her books for her one at a time as she reads them even though she’s closer to them. She’s literally standing next to them. Jokes aside, the old adage is true: life isn’t fair.

Life isn’t fair for us, and it certainly wasn’t fair for Him but for different reasons. First, I want to talk about why it was unfair for us and how it’s different than why it was unfair for Him. 

Our lives aren’t fair

Though I cracked some jokes earlier about things that may seem unfair, there are some really hard truths in this world about fairness. How can it be fair that I was born at this time in the world, in The United States of America, in a middle class home, on a safe street, surrounded by a happy family, with a full belly when I fell asleep at night? How can it be fair that there are children who are born into poverty both in our day and in the past, both in our country and around the world? How can it be fair that there are children born into families where they are abused and neglected, even hated? How can it be fair that there are child brides and slaves and hunger? How can it be fair that a small child is diagnosed with cancer? And those are just some of the problems of children. Let’s not forget to mention loneliness, depression, anxiety, death, infertility, unfaithfulness, and a myriad of other things that we didn’t ask for as adults. They are things beyond our control. When we compare our lives side by side with some of those around us, it may seem wildly and painfully unfair.

As I continue, let me be clear. The concepts I wish to talk about are not meant to invalidate the pain that many of us are experiencing. This life was meant to be tough so don’t compare heartaches or feel like you shouldn’t be acknowledging grief.

However. We have been given glorious promises. 

“At times we thoughtfully wonder why the miracle we have so earnestly prayed for does not happen…Whether in this life or the next, all will be made right.”

Neil L. Andersen

I can’t answer why we’re born into the various circumstances we are. I can’t answer why some devastating heartbreaks pass by some families only to land on another.

I can’t even answer how, but I can promise that it will be made right. It will be made more than right. We can look at the life of Job and know that God will bless His righteous sons and daughters with a thousand times more blessings to wipe away any inkling of mistreatment that we may have experienced in mortality. The glory will be so immense and so eternal that we will go along “rejoicing that (we) were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.” Acts 5:41.

Okay. So all of the bad things will be made up to us. It will be made right; that makes life fair…doesn’t it?

Well let’s look at the things that we do wrong. We all know that fun little verse that teaches us that “no unclean thing can dwell with God” (1 Nephi 10:21). That means every. single. one. of us are banished from God because we have all fallen short. In fact, we all fall short every day. 

As you are all vastly aware, Christ made up for that too. So let’s all be deeply grateful that life has been unfairly kind. If it wasn’t, it wouldn’t matter that all of the bad things that had happened to us would be made up. We would still be pretty miserable for eternity.

His life wasn’t fair either

In fact, His life is the only life that was truly unfair in the negative sense. 

Like us, He had bad things happen to Him in mortality. In fact, a lot of things that happened to Him are probably worse than things that happen to a lot of us.

Unlike us, there was no one to pay for the unfair things that happened to Him.

Unlike us, He was perfect and had no debt to pay. 

Unlike us, He paid the debts of the entire human race with His infinite surplus. 

He suffered beyond what anyone could suffer without any promise of personal recompense. When we agreed to earth life, we knew that the Lord would take care of it all. No one could make that promise for Him. He was the only one who could do it even though He was the only one who didn’t deserve it. 

“God be thanked for the matchless gift of His divine son.” The Living Christ.

But…why?

It’s easy to say, “Oh, it’s because He loves us.” But what does that even mean? How do we comprehend the kind of love that sacrifices?

Though it’s never verbally expressed, humanity tends to imply that fairness means happiness. If everything in life were “fair,” then everything in life would be content. I wish I could describe how untrue that statement is.  Happiness exists outside of the context of fairness. If life is fair, people can be happy. If life is unfair, people can still be happy.

When I was young, I used to be frustrated with repentance. I couldn’t understand how He could love me if I caused Him pain. I used to picture a powerful God, looking down at me with His perfection and forgiving me simply because He was perfect. It’s so much more than that. Christ’s happiness was independent of our mistakes because His love is independent of our mistakes. He’s just happy to be around us if we’re trying our best. It sounds kind of funny but haven’t we all experienced that before? If you adore a child or spouse or significant other or friend or sibling or parent who has let you down before, then you have a small taste of what it means to be Christ. You forgave them because you still want to be around them; you still want the happiness they bring into your life.

Christ’s life was unfair, but He didn’t let that get in the way of His happiness. He still wants us with Him because we make Him happy.

3 Nephi 17:20 “And they arose from the earth and he said unto them:Blessed are ye because of your faith. And now behold, my joy is full.”

So let’s review

Anything bad that happens to us gets equalized, and if we’re being honest, it will probably get more than equalized. 

Anything bad that we do gets equalized (if we repent, of course).

Anything bad that happens to Him is what it is. 

And He didn’t do anything bad. 

His life was unfair, but He is happy. We can make Him happy.

I’m grateful that because of Jesus Christ, life is unfair.

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