For many of us, our expectations of fairness arise from an early childhood experience that struck us as “unfair.” We may have seen an action affecting us or others that dashed our expectations – expectations often grounded in childhood innocence. These events may stay with us and influence our desire for fairness in our lives and in the lives of others.
We often hear that “life is unfair.” Even Ecclesiastes notes that “the race is not always won by the swiftest, the battle is not always won by the strongest; prosperity does not always belong to those who are the wisest, wealth does not always belong to those who are the most discerning, nor does success always come to those with the most knowledge – for time and chance may overcome them all.”
While we readily acknowledge the truth of Ecclesiastes, other Scriptural passages provide some guideposts for fairness. In Isaiah those “who will dwell on high” are those “who are honest and fair, who refuse to profit by fraud, who stay far away from bribes, who refuse to listen to those who plot murder, (and) who shut their eyes to all enticement to do wrong…” Proverbs teaches, “The Lord detests the use of dishonest scales, but he delights in accurate weights. Pride leads to disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. Honesty guides good people; dishonesty destroys treacherous people.”
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