How to Handle Unfairness
This world is full of unfairness. Unfairness marks every life. No one can escape it. And how you handle unfairness can either make you or break you as a person of character and integrity.
When you experience unfairness, you experience the clash between your sense of right and wrong and the reality you face. Typically, this will result in anger.
This anger will manifest itself in various ways depending on our life experiences and personalities. Typically, we have little or no conscious understanding of its results in our lives.
Some people will naturally internalise this anger, and it will seem to be hidden. But it will reveal itself in many ways, including anxiety, stress, and control, or they will direct this anger against themselves, resulting in an inadequate self-image.
Other people won’t internalise this anger. Instead, they will release it and lash out against others. We often release our anger against someone who is close to us and loves us because we know that we are safe to do so. In a marriage that can be a husband or a wife, or even a child.
Sometimes we release our anger randomly against anyone and everyone, without knowing why we can’t control it. And sometimes, our anger is simply manifested as a deep dissatisfaction with life and ourselves.
Self-awareness is one of the hardest things in the world to achieve.
The reality is that anger always causes harm and works to destroy relationships, including your relationship with God.
So, how do you deal with the fundamental unfairness of life? First of all, you need self-awareness. You need to understand where your withdrawal, stress, or anger are coming from.
Self-awareness is one of the hardest things in the world to achieve, and it usually happens slowly and painfully.
The Bible reminds us that,
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? (Jer 17:9.)
The deceptiveness of our hearts means that it’s both natural and easy to think that we are proper and reasonable in the way we see the world, in our thinking, and in how we deal with others. This is how the Bible expresses it:
People may think their own ways are right, but the Lord weighs the heart (Prov 21:2.)
Once we start to become aware of our harmful responses to unfairness, we will also begin to understand the source of our stresses, anger, and need for control. This self-awareness is only the work of the Spirit of God in our lives through the application of God’s Word. The Bible tells us that
the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart (Heb 4:12.)
This means that we all need to take a very humble attitude before God and his Word. Whatever we have learnt before, we may need to unlearn. Whatever we have believed before, we may need to unbelieve. Whatever attitudes we thought were right and justifiable must be laid down.
We need to surrender our entire selves to God because his purpose is to dismantle our worldview and replace it with the worldview of his own kingdom. This is the work that the Spirit of God does in our hearts. It is to cast out pride and rebuild us from the inside out.
How we deal with the unfairness of the world will define our lives.
Yes, there is gross unfairness in the world, from the relationships between the nations to the relationships within our homes. Understandably, all of us will be wounded and scarred.
Ultimately, how we deal with this unfairness will define our lives. We can typically become more embittered and withdrawn, isolated from others and from whom we want to be. We can hurt people even more than we have been hurt because as the saying goes, “Hurt people hurt people.” In this way, we will be doing our bit to increase the unfairness of the world.
The other alternative is that through admittedly painful struggle, we can rise above the unfairness of the world and respond to it in compassion and love.
A kingdom worldview isn’t reflected in doctrines and teachings. It’s manifested in the way we look at, listen to and speak with, and the way we treat others. Often, it’s revealed most of all in how we treat those who are closest to us.
It isn’t my intention to judge anyone on these issues. Some of the people closest to me and whom I have loved the most have been among the most hurt by unfairness.
However, I have to ask the question: How are you responding to unfairness in your personal life?
Article supplied with thanks to Dr Eliezer Gonzalez.
About the Author: Dr Eli Gonzalez is the Senior Pastor of Good News Unlimited and the presenter of the Unlimited radio spots, and The Big Question. Sign up to his free online course called Becoming a Follower of Jesus to learn about Jesus and His message.