Fairness

Fair does not mean equal. This phrase has come to mean a lot in my professional life and has had me thinking lately of how it applies to our spiritual life as well. I currently work in the Special Education department of my local high school. In the past, as a Soldier in the U.S. Army, I was always taught that “fair” meant everyone gets the same training, same food, same bed, same uniform, etc. As a paraprofessional in Special Education this definition does not work, fair for one of my students does not mean that he or she gets the same education in the classroom as their peers, it means they get the same opportunity, much like every person should get the same opportunity to receive the grace of God. That means if there is a learning disability or a behavioral problem then fair means that additional help is need in order to absorb the same lesson. It means sometimes extra attention is needed, or a steady hand, and sometimes it means therapy or a special classroom. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 9:22 that we are to “become weak to those who are weak”. Not all people will come to Christ in the same way, relating to others on their ground or at their level does not change the goal of your message, it just adjusts the route that you take to get them there. To be “fair” to all who are lost I must “become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings (v. 22b-23). Paul understood that an equal message to all would leave some out of touch with the Gospel, only by meeting people where they are can we help them get where they are going.

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