William Shakespeare coined a phrase in 1610 that captures something we as humans seek and are outraged when we don’t experience – “fair play”. You only have to mention the bowling of a certain ball in a certain cricket match over 25 years ago to make most Kiwis jump up and down! I’ve observed that as early as 2 my kids have a strong sense of whether something is fair or not (I have never felt so observed as when cutting the last piece of chocolate cake)
And we have invented phrases that we as adults use to express this sentiment... It’s all “fair & square”, or the judges’ ruling was “fair & impartial” that is what we are fiercely committed to. And we live by those rules...until it suits us to just bend those rules a little bit and suddenly... “all’s fair in love and war” and then when we just want our own way we adopt “life’s not fair”.
It seems that maybe we are only committed to everything being fair when it suits us. And this is the heart of this story... do we want God to treat us fairly or generously? Generously of course! But what happens when He treats us fairly and others generously? Hmmm...what’s the phrase for that?