Fair isn’t always Equal

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Before I became a stay-at-home mom, I was a middle school teacher.  At the beginning of every year, as we went through teacher training, our principal would tell us that “being fair isn’t always equal”.  What did THAT mean?  It took me awhile to get it.  I think fairness and equality are easily confused nowadays.  The definition of equal is “alike in quantity, degree or value”.  We believe as Catholics, and it’s stated in the Declaration of Independence, that all men are created equal by God. All of us have the same value in God’s eyes, whether it is a child in the womb, the elderly person in the nursing home, or the homeless guy on the street.  We all have value (i.e. meaning or purpose).  Each of us was created for a reason.

The definition of fair is “free from bias, dishonesty or injustice”. We are all treated fairly by God even though it doesn’t always seem that way.  Its easy to say “God must like John better because he has more money than I do”, or “Susie seems to have it all together her family is perfect”.  How many times do we sit in Mass and stare at the family with the perfectly behaved children and think, “Wow, they really have it together!”  We all do it, its part of our human nature.  What we don’t see is the crosses God gives to everyone.  None of us share the exact same burden-that would be equal but not fair.  God gives us what we can handle, according to our gifts and talents.  That’s fair, but not equal.  God values us and wants all of us to get to our Heavenly reward.  He molds and shapes us to become what we’re meant to be.  He is our Father after all, and he’s doing exactly what a good parent should.

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2 responses »

  1. I have recognized that fair isn’t equal when dealing with my kids, but I never thought to apply that to our relationship with God. What an insightful blog. We are God’s children and thank you for the reminder that just because I may not see someone’s cross doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. And each of our crosses are designed to meet our abilities, so I pray the Lord will help me accept my cross joyfully rather than stare across the church in envy at someone else’s “perfect” life.

  2. Wonderful post! Fair isn’t always equal, that’s for sure! I also have realized that through raising children and I know that if it is that way in my own home, it surely is that way with God too. He loves me enough to make sure what I have and what I experience is right for me. I am thankful for that!

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