A repost from several years ago but this is something that has been on my mind lately. Let me know what you think.
Grace isn’t fair.
Have you ever thought about that?
At church this past Sunday the message was about grace.
I sat and listened and I guess I needed to hear this message because several things stuck with me.
First of all, grace is not fair.
Now that is not a bad thing even though it sounds bad.
The scripture selection was from Matthew 20: 1-16. You can click here to read that passage if you wish.
The text of this selection relates the story about a vineyard and the owner and laborers. The short simplified version is that the laborers who worked just part of the day got the same wage as those that worked the entire day. The laborers that were there all day said it wasn’t “fair”. The owner reminded them that they agreed to work for that rate so they had nothing to whine about. It wasn’t an act of injustice – it was more like an act of mercy to those who came late in the day to work.
The pastor went on to relate a story about Jeffrey Dahmer who was a serial killer and sex offender. He revealed that just a couple of months before he was brutally killed by another inmate in prison he became a Christian. God’s grace became his salvation and he was forgiven for his horrific crimes. Our pastor, as well as many others including Max Lucado from whose book he had used for part of his sermon, admitted that he had a difficult time with that.
Why should a man who led a despicable and deviant life be allowed to have the same “privileges” as the woman who sat next to me in the church pew?
Because of grace. Plain and simple.
Grace is not fair. It does not matter what went before. It simply does not matter.
Grace is the free and unmerited favor of God.
I can do absolutely nothing to win God’s grace. It is mine just by believing.
If I am to be living out my life in the way that God asks me to I need to be able to accept that each and every person, no matter how they may appear to be in my own eyes, has the same access to that grace as I have.
That is what hit me.
We are all unworthy and yet….God’s grace is what is freely given for each one of us if we choose to accept it.
I think I needed to hear about the extravagant and outrageous grace that God offers to ALL this week.
I would love to hear your thoughts . Please feel free to leave a comment and Comments for a Cause.
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The rain falls equally upon the good and the evil. But sometimes you do wish it would pour cats and dogs on the evil. The thing about our upbringing is we always expect fairness because we are raised to be fair. But your conclusion is right.
Bernadette–you are totally right—it was how we were raised to try to be fair. I think in a lot of things I still try that attitude but this sermon hit me yesterday. And yes—cats and dogs falling on the evil is a great image and often what I wish for. Thanks for stopping by!
Thanks Beth! This is what is so cool about Christianity- it’s simple and complex at the same time. I read a great story about a prison ministry and the ministers said that the wonder is that a prisoner’s life can be changed immediately- after praying, he receives God’s grace and starts a new, beautiful life right then. No workbooks, or multi step programs or passing a test- just a simple prayer for complete transformation. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!!
Thank you for sharing yours as well! Honestly this sermon was meant for me to hear it and I am so glad it gave me a lot to ponder and think about. That is ALWAYS a good thing.
I have never thought about it that way, but it IS true.
I agree. It hit me and made me really stop and think about how I view grace and forgiveness. Thanks for stopping by!
When evil touches you personally or those you love, then this grace for all is hardest to accept.
I love this post. Grace is a mind-boggling gift, for sure. Thank you for the reminder! xo Kristy
Thanks so much, Kristy, for stopping by! Grace is indeed mind boggling!!!!😊
Well said. When I was growing up it was a constant mantra, beat into my malleable mind, life is not fair. I find myself thinking about this as I watch the news play out each evening, everyone searching for a fair, that doesn’t exist. Thanks for this food for thought!
Yes—I remember hearing that as well. I usually was the one who was whining!
Having worked in a male prison and actually quite closely with serial killers and sex offenders, I can tell you that I am actually not that surprised by this. There is such a planet of hurt and rage and absolute loss swirling around these men (there is almost always incredibly abusive pasts and absolute horrible tragedy behind them, which isn’t an excuse, but is telling in how they are “created”) — such a disconnect with the rest of humanity; that they only thing that can help them I believe is God’s Grace. It’s amazing restoration of life and I think only He can bring them back to what He created them to me. So from that perspective it tells you what an amazing God we serve.
I love hearing y our perspective on this. There is a planet of hurt out there and you have seen it firsthand time and time again. We are all human and we all can receive God’s grace. What a wonderful gift that is. Thank you for sharing your words–they helped a great deal to help me understand more.
Good thoughts. I can remember many discussions in Sunday School classes and Bible study about this very subject. We are conditioned in society to demand fairness in everything. But is our version of fair the same as God’s version? God’s Word tells us He doesn’t take any pleasure in the death of the wicked. And that’s why He sent His Son to us so that all might be saved (even at the very last moment before death). And that is the beauty of God’s grace, isn’t it?
You wrote this so well! Thank you for your input— I totally agree!
Grace is not fair to us sometimes but always fair to our Lord. I needed to hear this again too, Beth Ann. My family is dealing with a situation right now where some of us do not feel that a certain member does not deserve Grace but does deserve it if he ask our Lord for it.