I’ve said this more than a few times in my life. A lot of situations aren’t fair, especially when you have brothers and sisters. Now I’m hearing it from my son Tad fairly often. As second born (behind Kaisa) and old enough to have a defined sense of what’s appropriate, he’s started to identify things he thinks aren’t fair. Like when the girls get to watch a movie that he doesn’t like (and therefore won’t watch) and then still watch a movie with him. (The girls aren’t nearly as fastidious about “boy” things).
I’ve been thinking about how to teach my son about how to think about fairness in light of what God has done for us. This is especially true in light of the ultimate thing God has done for us: the Gospel. So here’s an open letter to my son about how to think about fairness.
Many things in life aren’t fair. Zeke getting an extra piece of candy. Kaisa getting to watch 2 movies. Ella getting the perfect gift for Christmas and you don’t. People will say, “That’s life.” And it’s true. Life isn’t fair in the sense that everyone has equal opportunity, equal ability, and equal rewards. You won’t find fairness if that’s what you’re looking for. Life has already started throwing you curve balls but you need to think about who’s throwing them.
This is especially true in light of Christmas. Christmas is a time where we celebrate the ultimate gift: Jesus Christ. He came to give us life. He came to give us love, hope, and peace. And it’s free for the taking. It’s a gift (Romans 6:23). Most people think it goes to those who work for it – who do religion or who do good works. It’s karma or dharma, i.e. those who deserve it get it – even though we may not know why they do. Others people think life is random and good things happen randomly. You’re simply lucky if you have a good life, wife, or career. They see people who work hard and bad things happen to them and count it as random – ‘you never know what you’re going to get.’
But because of Christmas and the Gospel, I think we need to start thinking in terms of life as a gift. Yeah, you won’t get the same gifts as everybody else. But here’s the cool thing. The God who made you, knows you, and has good things planned for you is the God who gives you gifts. It’s like having someone who knows you very well (your mom) and who also has the ultimate ability to get things done (your dad, jk) planning to give you perfect gifts. Gifts that fit you. Gifts that help you. Gifts that grow you. Gifts that fulfill you. The question really is: do you see these things as gifts? Do you see the fact that you don’t like girl movies as a gift? Do you see your desire for an equal share of candy as a gift to make sure others are taken care of? Do you see it?
Or are you blinded by the sense that everyone has to have equal opportunity, ability, and reward? Because God doesn’t make everybody the same and therefore their gifts aren’t the same either. God is the one throwing curve balls but they’re designed to fit the way you swing (if you let Him train you).
You need to see 4 gifts God gives:
(more to come)