Is God Unfair?

Why do I struggle with the concept that God has the right to do as He pleases with His creation? I want fairness, and it doesn’t FEEL fair for God to choose one person for special purposes and another for common use.

Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use? (Romans 9:21 NIV)

With my great power and outstretched arm I made the earth and its people and the animals that are on it, and I give it to anyone I please. (Jeremiah 27:5 NIV Emphasis added)

I can view my story from an egocentric viewpoint or a theocentric one. I can read the story of Pinocchio through his eyes or through the Woodcarver’s who created Pinocchio in love for a relationship. The only safe place for Pinocchio was in his father’s house and under his creator’s care. He could have had greater adventures, in safety, had he stayed with Geppetto, but he ran away. His rebellion resulted in grief, but then he found redemption when he returned to his maker.

When I think “birth” instead of “creation,” I have a paradigm shift in my response to “unfair.” I am a baby, then a child, adolescent, and adult in God’s kingdom. But even as an adult, I never outgrow the need to be loved and cared for. The danger as an adult is to think I’m self-sufficient.


Habakkuk’s Struggle

From my 2009 Journal. While reading through the book of Habakkuk, I notice the prophet’s anguished struggle with God’s inaction.

How long, LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save? (1:2 NIV).

 Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrongdoing? (1:3).

Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrongdoing. Why then do you tolerate the treacherous? Why are you silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves? (1:13).

Humans have wrestled with God’s choices from the beginning of time. We try to reconcile our theology of a good and caring God with our perception of His actions or inaction. Why is it so hard to just accept God and His will and His way? I think it’s because we have a built-in need for fairness and justice, and we want control of our world.

What makes you struggle with God?

2020 Update.  Our world is a mess right now, but is it really any different from Habakkuk’s day: violence, injustice, wrongdoing, wickedness. My struggle is not really about what’s going on in the world, but rather what’s going on in my heart. When I ask why questions, I don’t really want an intellectual answer. I want God to fix the pain in my heart so I can be at peace. But it’s a struggle to let go of my own agenda.

man covering face with hands near car trunk

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on