‘Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”
Fairness is instilled in us very early on in our lives. Observe small children dividing candy or the last piece of cake, and you will see them exercise precision in a way they never do unless fairness is involved. Emotions run high on the playground when someone cheats, and a group of children walk away crying, “That’s not fair!” Even as adults, the problems that really raise our blood pressure are almost always related to issues of fairness.
So, it would be easy to understand why someone might become frustrated with God’s way of dealing with people. We naturally think he ought to love people as a reward for good behavior. And those who do things like obey his commands and listen to his word ought to be treated better by God. Certainly, those who have done more deserve more—right?
But then we see God forgiving the sins of people who spent most of their lives ignoring him and disobeying what he commands. We can feel it’s unfair, especially after we have spent our lives following him and striving to obey what he commands.
Instead of being envious of God’s generosity to others, we do well to rejoice in it, to celebrate that this is the kind of God we have! One who is this generous to sinners, even sinners like us. When we see God generously forgiving others, we can be thankful he shows that same generosity and goodness to us.
God grant that we celebrate, not envy, his generosity.
Saving Lord, you are merciful to all. Give to me a spirit that is thankful that you have forgiven all sins and promise salvation to all. Amen.