In this life, there will always be situations that we can take offence at, with misunderstandings occurring and things not going the way we would like, yet there is always someone worse off than we consider ourselves to be. What is my reaction to unfair situations – do I complain, grumble and get bitter, having a victim complex or do I, with the attitude of a victor, rejoice that something good will result, for God has counted me worthy to suffer on His behalf? (Gen 50:20; Act 5:40,41, 16:22-38; Rom 8:28; 1 Pet 2:20). When they were unfairly treated the Israelites took their eyes off the dream of liberation and became discouraged (Ex 4:29-6:9). Instead, we should maintain a positive attitude for God sees and can work in the situation of those who are being treated unfairly by others – for example, when Laban tricked Jacob. (Gen 31:4-13).
Jesus said, don’t demand your rights, retaliate or treat the offending party as you have been treated; instead meet your responsibilities,
which include showing mercy and justice, praying for those who persecute you and treat you unfairly, doing to them what we wish they would
do to us, so blessing
them and overcoming evil with good (Mic 6:8; Mt 5:38-48; Lk 6:27-36; Rom 12:21; 1 Pet 3:9).
Our example: Jesus entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly – 1 Peter 2:23
gained for us; in love He looked beyond the immediate difficulties to the future blessing and reward that would be His (Heb 12:2,3). Similarly, our challenging life situations may seem unfair too, yet it is the only way for us to enter in to what God has in store for us. There is often the temptation to give into sin to compensate for the hurts we are experiencing. Instead, we need to follow in the footsteps of Jesus.
When treated unfairly endeavour to maintain a clear conscience with a right attitude to those responsible and try to relate to the offender with respect and love. As God allows hard times to test our persistence, and develop spiritual and character, let such an event be a catalyst to operate in the opposite spirit – to be thankful and to grow in the fruit of the Spirit by using this opportunity to be an overcomer (Gal 5:22,23). When his men considered stoning him David “encouraged himself in the Lord” (1 Sam 30:6).
God has different pathways and purifying processes for outworking His purposes for each believer, so don’t envy the ministry of others who seem to be having it easy; your responsibility is to obediently walk the path He has for you (Jn 21:22,23; 2 Cor 10:12). He calls us to follow Him, gladly take His challenge and co-operate with Him (Mt 4:19, 11:29,30). Often the righteous suffer just as much as the wicked, and the wicked also prosper, however in the final analysis the true perspective will emerge (Job 21:7-16; Ps 73:1-28; Eccl 8:14; Mt 5:45). We live in a fallen and unfair world where the focus is on us, yet when viewed from God’s perspective we are sinners who deserve eternal separation from Him, yet through Jesus we can have eternal life with Him, free from the suffering that those who don’t receive Him as Saviour will experience
Although we are often biased and relate differently to some people because of their race, gender, appearance or ability, or what we have in common, the Bible instructs us to treat all people fairly and with integrity, (just as God does) not taking advantage of anyone (Ps 140:12; Prov 14:31; Isa 10:1,2; Jas 1:27, 2:1-9).
In the parable of the workers in the vineyard, some considered they were unfairly treated, thinking they should have received more than they had agreed to (Mt 20:1-16). Don’t take offence and fall away because of Jesus or His teaching (Mt 11:6, 13:21).