The Fairness Doctrine

When we were kids our parents had to combat with our inherent selfishness, especially in our relationships with siblings. In efforts to calm things down, each of us were given the same measure of pie or cake in accordance with a “fairness doctrine.” We didn’t resist receiving a bigger portion than others, but we would start a world war if our piece of cake was even one crumb smaller than one of the other siblings’.

As we grew older, we carried that fairness doctrine into our teens, and by the time we reached adulthood it had been displaced by a more mature “let-it-go doctrine” which now governs most day-to-day events in our life. When it comes to big things like career opportunities our fairness doctrine is revitalized and once again comes to the forefront of our reasoning, but rarely does it serve the purposes of love and personal sacrifice, nor is it a functional part of a person who has committed their life into God’s hands for His care and provision.

Unfortunately, some adults continue to govern their lives (and the lives of those around them) by the fairness doctrine. Everything is measured to be sure that no one is cheating them out of their due portions. It might be about something as simple as measurable food, or it might be about something more subjectively measured like the friendship feelings that one person has for them in comparison to a perceived measure of friendship feelings that same person has for a group of others (in other words, they are jealous that others may be receiving more attention and affection than themselves).

Some people, not wanting to seem petty to others (though they know they really are), cover their tracks by saying that they are just highly competitive, and it’s all done in fun. However, there is no fun to be had by anyone when the “competitive” one feels cheated out of an equal or fair portion of money, friendship, emotions, gifts, etc. Having an intensely competitive attitude in relationships is not about athletic performance, but about self-centeredness and jealousy.

Scripture teaches us and Christ models for us that we should not adhere to these kinds of things. Self-centeredness and jealousy are not qualities of a Spirit-formed and Spirit-led life, a life that radiates the holy desires of Christ Himself.

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

~ Galatians 2:20

“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”

~ Galatians 5:24

As men and women of God, and as men and women of prayer, let’s guard our hearts from using the self-centered, un-Christlike “fairness doctrine.”


#PastorsTip #Galatians2 #Galatians5 #FairnessDoctrine #Fair #Unfair #Competitive #Relationships

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