There have been dozens of nights spent laying in bed, unable to sleep, thinking about a situation in my life that has not yet received closure. The last few months have held a lot of hurt and anger towards someone who likely hasn’t thought about me once. Last night, though, I wasn’t thinking about it. I was just trying to sleep when God woke me suddenly with a few words on my mind:
I WANT fairness, but I NEED grace.
I WANT fairness, but I NEED holiness.
I WANT fairness, but I NEED peace.
I grabbed my phone, typed it in the notes app, promised to think about it more in the morning, and fell back asleep. When I accidentally came across it the next morning while looking for a to-do list, it was like a gold mine. I stopped what I was doing because I knew this was something I needed to put into better words than the barely interpretable phrases sprawled across the screen.
Ever since childhood, I’ve gotten so caught up with what’s FAIR. Tears on Christmas morning if Zach got more presents. Trying my hardest to split a shared cookie evenly down the middle. And now, as an adult, I want people to know that I was hurt and who did the hurting. I want that person to feel what I felt.
But what if what I really need is something far better?
What I really NEED is to pursue holiness. Holiness doesn’t allow for holding on to anger and wishing ill will on someone. I NEED peace. I NEED grace.
I had to reframe what fairness means to me.
Fairness could be me hurting that person in the same way they hurt me, OR
Fairness could be me extending grace because grace was already given to me by my Heavenly Father.
I came to realize that there is earthly fairness and there is HOLY fairness. Holy fairness is choosing to treat others how God has treated you. He gave you grace, so you, in turn, offer grace even when you believe they don’t deserve it. We don’t deserve God’s love, but He gives it freely even when we betray Him. We go through the gritty and painful seasons so we can learn and become more like Him.
When we stand at the crossroads of earthly and holy fairness, may we choose the high and holy road.