Life can feel like a juggling act sometimes. Too many plates to spin, too much to keep your eye on all at once, too many dropped catches. Sometimes we pass on those pressures to other people by giving them a hard time. At other times we find ourselves saying, “It’s not fair,” when we get a rough deal ourselves. But what is fairness? Can anyone get everything right all the time? Is there such a thing as equality?
Fairness is important to us all. We’re aggrieved when we feel we’ve been unfairly treated in some way ourselves. We also cry, “Foul!” on behalf of a family member or friend if they have been wronged. Today’s politicians talk about fairness all the time. But what is fairness? Let’s use the word justice instead. At its most basic level, we all know what justice means – that we are treated in the right way – and we all have a strong desire for this to be the case.
Demanding justice for ourselves and those closest to us is the easy side of fairness. The harder thing is for us to act with justice towards others. The more distant they are from us, the less we seem to care about them receiving justice. Yes, we can stir ourselves up when a special appeal is made, but is that sufficient? We all struggle with treating others justly. Most people don’t mind pinching a few minutes of their employer’s time or pilfering small items of stationery. We justify it by assuring ourselves that they don’t treat us as fairly as they could. How many of us would say nothing if a shop assistant gave us too much change, but point out their mistake if they gave us too little? What about the way we all find ourselves not treating our friends as we should? Apparently more and more people are finding it easier to end a close relationship with a text message rather than face to face. Is that fair? Do we find ourselves lying to family and friends more than we would like to?
Perhaps we promise ourselves that we’ll put things right with those people at some point in the future. However we also have the habit of pushing those days of reckoning further and further on. Have you ever wondered why this happens so frequently? Maybe we realise deep down that when we treat people unfairly we put ourselves in their debt, but when it comes to putting things right, we find the debt is more than we can pay? We know only too well that owing more than we can repay happens frequently where money is concerned, so should it surprise us that we also find ourselves unable to deliver justice to those we have treated unjustly?
Let’s face it, demanding justice for ourselves, but being unable to provide it to others is a problem for us all. Hence the title of this leaflet. People often think that Christianity is for those who always do the right thing, but actually Jesus Christ made it clear that He came to help those who recognise they don’t, rather than for those who insist they haven’t got a problem. Each one of us has accumulated a debt of justice in the way we’ve behaved towards Him and those around us. He wants us to know that He can settle that debt for us.
As Christians we are not here to tell you that we’re good and you’re not. We too have had to juggle with justice. But we have discovered some good news – Jesus, knowing the enormity of the problems we all have, has taken action to get them sorted. If you’d like to know more about His solution to the mess we have created, do get in touch with us.