Fair- Of character, reputation, conduct: free from moral stain, unsullied, spotless. Of a person, action argument, etc.: just, unbiased, equitable, impartial; legitimate, in accordance with the rules or standards.
Early in my life I was taught that I must be fair with all people. I have yet to meet someone who does not want life to be fair. We want things to be fair for us first and then, of course, everyone else. I can still hear the school yard echo, “No fair!” looming over the playground. Fair defined as equal treatment is what I want to muse about today. Let us look at some ways that we can learn what it is to be fair and how to react to unfairness.
The first thing that comes to my mind when I think of the word fair is equitable. We all feel that we deserve equitable treatment at work, in our relationships and in our business dealings. Everyone wants to feel that they are of equal value to the next person. Discomfort arises in us when we feel we are being ignored or in some way neglected. We want to be valued by others, and we feel that is the way to be fair.
There is a Crown Royal distillery billboard that reads, “Live generously and life will treat you royally.” That is what can happen if we are overtly fair to all that we encounter. We learn the art of generosity, because we are always intentionally and freely doing the absolute best for others. Such fair generosity brings a reward of liberty from always speculating what is fair.
Microsoft founder and billionaire philanthropist, Bill Gates, reminds us that, “Life is not fair; get used to it.” That is particularly important point coming from a man who gives away billions of dollars a year. Life is not always fair, but it is our responsibility to make it so. Our behavior is a key to creating fairness around and within ourselves. I have always believed that life is about as fair as you make it. I do, however, wish that the unfair were sometimes in my favor.
As followers of Christ, we are called to be scrupulously fair to all persons we meet. That is our role as the salt and light of the earth. There are times when we are tempted to level that playing field. We are the authors of fairness, and we bring it to the rest of the world because we are the recipients of the generosity of Jesus when he redeemed us.
This week be fair, go the second mile, share from the heart, and help bring true fairness to the world.
We don’t need to be good. But let’s try to be fair.
~~~Holly Black, The Cruel Prince
Being good is easy, what is difficult is being just.
Fairness does not mean everyone gets the same. Fairness means everyone gets what they need.
In the end we are always rewarded for our good will, our patience, fair-mindedness, and gentleness with what is strange.
You cannot be fair to others without first being fair to yourself.
God hates violence. He has ordained that all men fairly possess their property, not seize it.
As for doing good that is one of the professions which is full. Moreover, I have tried it fairly and, strange as it may seem, am satisfied that it does not agree with my constitution.
~~~Henry David Thoreau
Life is not fair; get used to it.
Fairness is not an attitude. It’s a professional skill that must be developed and exercised.
It is always wise, as it is also fair, to test a man by the standards of his own day, and not by those of another.
It is not fair to ask of others what you are unwilling to do yourself.
Life is never fair, and perhaps it is a good thing for most of us that it is not.
I know the world isn’t fair, but why isn’t it ever unfair in my favor?
he judges the peoples with equity.
~~~ Psalm 9:8
Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favour to the skilful; but time and chance happen to them all.
A false balance is an abomination to the Lord,
but an accurate weight is his delight.
When pride comes, then comes disgrace;
but wisdom is with the humble.
The integrity of the upright guides them,
but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them.
~~~ Proverbs 11:1-3
You shall not render an unjust judgement; you shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great: with justice you shall judge your neighbor.
~~~ Leviticus 19:15
Speak out, judge righteously,
defend the rights of the poor and needy.
~~~ Proverbs 31:9
Happy are those who observe justice,
who do righteousness at all times.
Masters, treat your slaves justly and fairly, for you know that you also have a Master in heaven.
If a king judges the poor with equity,
his throne will be established for ever.
But let justice roll down like waters,
and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.
Honest balances and scales are the Lord’s;
all the weights in the bag are his work.
LORD, Our great longing in life is to be treated with fairness. Teach us that the road to fairness is to treat all as we want to be treated. Keep us honest and truthful in all our ways so that we might be fair to all we meet. We pray that you would give us the wisdom to be fair in all our dealings.