Is God Fair?

“God is not always fair, but God is always right.”

What do you think of that statement?  I’ve asked this of others numerous times. Needless to say it generally stirs some debate. Some unequivocally denounce it as “heresy”. Some agree with it, and still others wanted to know which definition of “fair” I was referring to.

A widely accepted definition of the word is “getting what I deserve.” In fact, several dictionaries I have looked at define it as “equitable or merited”. If someone says “That was a fair deal,” they generally mean they got what they deserved out of the transaction.

With that definition in mind, I say that God is not fair. Grace and mercy are not fair. Grace unfairly gives us what we do not “merit”. Mercy unfairly witholds what we do. From a divine standpoint, God doesn’t treat everyone “fairly” or “equally”, but He is always right in His dealings with man, and He is never less than fair. From a human standpoint, we don’t always get treated “fairly” or “equally” by God, but He is STILL always right.

I am glad that he has not treated me fairly. I’ll take mercy and grace any day.

For me, this issue is more than mere semantics. I’m not just trying to make a clever distinction for the sake of discussion. The point behind this statement is in response to the people I hear saying (in various forms) “I don’t deserve what God has done. This isn’t fair.” They generally mean they don’t think they are being treated as well as they deserve. To which I think it is accurate to respond, “God is not always fair, but He is always right.”

We do not always get treated as well as we think we deserve.  That is true.  But the REAL question is not “Why am I treated more poorly than I deserve?” but “Why am I treated better than I deserve?” I, for one, am glad that he has not treated me fairly. I’ll take mercy and grace any day.

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5 thoughts on “Is God Fair?

  1. In the words of those great theologians, The Newsboys, “When we don´t get what we deserve that´s a real good thing. When we get what we don´t deserve that´s a real good thing.”

  2. Yes, I believe that God is merciful. We suffer on account of our own mistakes and not because God is passing judgment on us. We continue to complain forgetting the several occasions when God has been merciful to us until we see the error of our ways. He is holy and righteous but most importantly, God is also loving. Whatever circumstances one may find oneself in it’s always for one’s best.
    God loves us so much that he provides a way of escape, a salvation, in any situation so we wouldn’t have to suffer. After all it depends upon an individual’s views as to how one look at God. One can be grateful for everything or choose to grumble about everything.

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