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Unfairness Points Us toward Jesus – Rick Warren

“The LORD hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles.”

Psalm 34:17 (NLT)

You’ll hear it from many different places these days: People are basically good and unselfish. It’s their environments that turn people’s hearts toward evil.
Unfortunately, that theory just doesn’t match with what we see in human nature. If you’ve ever been around small children, you get this. They’re born with a selfish nature. Phrases like “Feed me!” “Care for me!” and “I’m the center of attention” are the rule rather than the exception.

Human injustice throughout the world and in our own communities also shatters any misconception we have that we humans are all basically good. Left to our own devices, we oppress other people, hoard our food, and generally think about ourselves much more than anyone else.

And then it seems as if God looks at the humanity he created and says, “Okay, you think you’re basically good? You think human nature is basically unselfish? I’ll step back and let human nature take its course in the world. We’ll show you what happens when I’m not in the picture.”

What’s true in children and society in general is also true in our lives today. You and I are treated unfairly all the time. But here’s a secret you may not have considered: You treat people unfairly from time to time as well. And so do I.

Our inclination to treat one another unfairly doesn’t surprise God. In fact, it shows why we need Jesus.

The reality is, without God in the situation, people treat each other inhumanely and that’s the heart of injustice and unfairness in our world—from despotic dictators to crushing poverty to racial tension in our communities.

One day God will judge every person on the planet for the injustices they commit against others. Because God is just, there must be consequences for how we treat others.

That means we need mercy. All of us have been unfair with others from time to time. We’re not just the victims of injustice. We’re perpetrators, too.

This unfairness shows us we need Jesus. God wouldn’t have needed to send his Son to die on the cross if people were generally good. The vast injustices in our world make it clear that humans can’t live moral lives on their own.

Next time you’re treated unfairly, let it be a reminder: Every person on this planet—including you and me—needs Jesus.

Talk It Over

How do you typically deal with being treated unfairly?
Consider your response to this statement: “Next time you are unfair to someone, it shows how much you need Jesus.”
How does this devotional help you answer the question, “Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?”

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