Sometimes life seems so unfair. Why was I born into poverty? Why am I handicapped? Why do I suffer health problems? Why did my father die? Why do I suffer discrimination because of (insert any reason)? Why, why, why does so much unfairness exist if there is a loving and just God?
Some unfairness is caused by our own decisions and actions. In Genesis we read that God kicked Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden because of just one small slip up, just one bite of the forbidden fruit. Was that fair? Well that depends on one’s point of view. God never said life would be fair. God had a higher purpose for Adam and Eve than to lay around eating fruit with no effort on their part. He wanted them to develop character, and that takes effort.
Much of life’s unfairness is not of our making. God could have just kicked Adam and Eve out of the Garden, but instead he purposefully made life more difficult for them. And unto Adam he said, Because thou…hast eaten of the tree,…cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; … In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread. (Genesis 3:17-19) Why do we suppose this was beneficial for Adam and Eve?
For starters, where there is no effort, there is no growth. Every athlete knows this. Every musician knows this. Every scholar knows this. God wants us to be the best we can be. That takes effort, a lot of effort to overcome life’s trials. In fact, the more difficulties we overcome and the more effort we expend, the better we become. The more like Christ we become. The better question is not why is life unfair, but rather what does God want me to learn from this experience?
I can assure you that Christ knows unfairness. He could have asked, why was I, the Son of God, born into poverty? Why was I hunted by a King who sought to kill me when I did nothing against him? Why am I to be crucified for doing no wrong? Why do I have to suffer and atone for everyone’s sins? Is this not grossly unfair? Yet he didn’t. Because of His love for each of us, He was willing to do hard things and make great sacrifices so that we could be saved in Heaven.
“When faced with unfairness, we can push ourselves away from God or we can be drawn toward Him for help and support. In unfair situations, one of our tasks is to trust that ‘all that is unfair about life can be made right through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.’ Jesus Christ overcame the world and ‘absorbed’ all unfairness. Because of Him, we can have peace in this world and be of good cheer. If we let Him, Jesus Christ will consecrate the unfairness for our gain. He will not just console us and restore what was lost; He will use the unfairness for our benefit.” Elder Dale Renlund