Keeping Things Fair
A spiritual look at issues of interest to young people
To a little kid it's very important that everything is fair. Otherwise, parents, other kids, and teachers all hear about it. Even the smallest injustice - something that seems like it's really no big deal - brings on a clamorous protest!
Later on there aren't adults around to referee and make sure that things stay fair. Then it seems that a person either has to fight the whole world or just give up and take whatever comes.
Actually, when things aren't fair, God is still there for you. In fact, He's the only power and authority. Sometimes it's hard to swallow your pride and pray when things aren't fair. Yet, after a bit of time has gone by, it becomes obvious that this was exactly what you should have done in the first place. Let me tell what happened when, to me, life seemed as unfair as I thought it could get.
It was two weeks into our team's baseball season, and I was supposed to be the starting third baseman. I say supposed to be because I was not! My school was big, and many people had tried out for the team that spring. After a few weeks and some hard work, though, I was in the starting lineup.
Finally the day of our first game came. But when I suited up and went onto the field, I found out something surprising to say the least. There was a guy who'd played third base the year before. He hadn't even tried out for the team this year because his grades had made him ineligible. But there he was, starting at third base! Someone had pulled some strings. And now, even though I'd earned my place, I was on the sidelines.
Nothing so unjust had ever happened to me in my life. Even though to some people it didn't look like that big a deal, baseball seemed to me to be the most important thing in my life.
I was ready to make big demands on God's authority. Over the next few days I began praying and reading the Bible. An event documented in the book of John - something infinitely more serious than any baseball game - shed light on my situation. It offered a solution for me. It took place when Christ Jesus was captured and brought before Pontius Pilate, a powerful Roman politician. Even though Jesus hadn't done anything wrong, a lot of people wanted to crucify him. Pilate asked Jesus where he was from. But Jesus was quiet. Pilate asked why Jesus didn't answer - didn't he know that Pilate had power to crucify him or release him? Jesus finally answered, "If God had not given you the power, you couldn't do anything at all to me" (John 19:11, Contemporary English Version).
Jesus' answer to Pilate indicates a way you and I can battle injustice and nullify its effects. We can remember that the only power there is, is the power of God. Jesus realized that God, who is divine Love, was the only power in any place and at any time. Jesus was crucified. But he understood God's power so clearly that he rose from the grave on the third day. That proved the truth of his answer to Pilate.
There is never so sweet a victory as one that overcomes injustice. And I learned that God's power was the only power in my life, too. Even though I'd been believing that other people had decided my usefulness and my future, I learned that God doesn't share His authority over us with anyone. As I prayed, I completely stopped feeling sorry for myself. I knew that God loved me. I knew that my purpose was to express His good nature. And that the law of God ensured my opportunity to do so.
Not long after, I got an opportunity to play in a game and got three hits. From then on I was back in the lineup. Three weeks later I read in the paper that I was leading the league in hitting!
It was understanding just a bit that God is all-power that had made all the difference for me. In a book called "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, wrote, "It is man's moral right to annul an unjust sentence, a sentence never inflicted by divine authority" (Pg. 381). The best solution for injustice isn't found in being resentful. What makes you free, whether you're a kid or an adult, is to realize that God is always with you, has supreme power, and is not about to give it up!