“They are not doing their fair share (whine).” When you think of fairness, what comes to your mind? Fairness can be equality, impartiality, justice, and doing what is right. The problem with the unhealthy belief that everything should be fair is that each person has a different perspective of what is a just and equitable action or behavior. What I think is equal, impartial, or fair may not be what you think. So, patience is necessary for those times when your expectation of what you think is fair is not realized. The only one who is truly just is God, yet many people do not trust that He is fair because of this harmful belief. God is righteous and will always do what is right according to His holiness, though we may not understand it.
“Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; steadfast love and faithfulness go before you.” – Psalm 89:14
“The LORD works righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed.” – Psalm 103:6
“Blessed are they who observe justice, who do righteousness at all times!” – Psalm 106:3
“To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.” – Proverbs 21:3
“Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the LORD understand it completely.” – Proverbs 28:5
My website is about changing unhealthy beliefs to experience a new reality. What we think and say comes from what we believe, and what we believe directs our behavior. Our choices determine how healthy our relationships will be. In this series of posts, I will expose the unhealthy beliefs that control our lives and how to transform them with the truth to experience a new reality.
Where Does the Unhealthy Fairness Belief Come From?
Let’s look at our opening statement. “They are not doing their fair share (whine).” Or “They are not pulling their fair share of the work.” Can you hear the judgmental whine? I’m not making fun because I have said that plenty of times. So, the source of the fairness belief begins with comparison and thinking we are doing more than someone else, or have less than someone else, and so on. For example, if you have a liberal mindset, you think the conservatives are not being just and impartial. The conservatives think that the views of the liberals are unjust and not right. It is all a matter of point of view or bias.
Another source is unmet expectations. When we expect that the workload will be shared, yet we think we are doing more work than the other person, they may be thinking they are doing more work than you. You might think you are not getting a fair price, but the other person thinks they are giving you a fair deal. So, fairness is a matter of perspective, which is often based on our self-centered pride. Again, we see the ugly head of pride in yet another unhealthy belief. Pride demands justice and fairness especially when it benefits our self-centered desires. Only when we are humble can we be patient when our standard of fairness and justice is not achievable.
A complaining attitude instead of a thankful attitude also breeds the unhealthy fairness belief of inequality. So, be grateful instead of comparing yourself with someone else and what they are doing or not doing or have that you don’t have.
So, why should we be patient when we feel wronged, and what is patience?
Patience is the evidence of love (1Cor.13:4). When we love others, we are right with God because we love as He loves. John 15:12-14 states, “This is my commandment that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life [selfish pride] for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you.” Also, 1John 4:8 states, “Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
The following definitions of patience come from Webster’s dictionary. Patience is bearing or enduring pain, trouble, inconvenience, etc., without complaint, losing self-control, making a disturbance, etc. To be forbearing: tolerate (to put up with). Keep oneself in check. It is refusing to be provoked or angered, as by an insult or frustration. And, it is merciful: compassionate or kindly forbearance shown toward an offender, an enemy, or person in one’s power. Lastly, patience is being just: living with a moral principle that determines right conduct and fairness by treating all sides alike.
The Truth That Transforms the Unhealthy Fairness Belief
First, accept that life is not fair, and fairness is arbitrary, which is why we need to be humble and patient with one another.
Second, ask God to reveal if you have resentment toward an unfair action in your past that is related to the offense you have taken in your current situation. For example, when I was a teenager, I felt it was unfair that I had to spend hours doing the dishes that everyone piled up. I became resentful of my sisters because I felt they were dirtying too many dishes. Fast forward to a few years ago; I still resented having to do the dishes. I had my sons take turns doing the dishes, and then they moved out. I talked to my husband about my resentment and asked if he would help, which he did reluctantly, but he often wouldn’t help at all. The truth that set me free from my irrational fairness belief was that I am called to serve others in love as Jesus came to serve.
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.” – Philippians 2:3-7
“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh [selfish-pride], but through love serve one another.” – Galatians 5:13
Third, instead of stewing about something you feel is unfair, talk to the person involved in the comparison. Calmly state your observation or point of view, then ask for the other person’s point of view on the situation with a humble attitude. Ask if you can work out a more equitable situation to reduce frustration for both of you. If the other person does not see your perspective, then be patient with them.
How To Change Unhealthy Beliefs
1. To transform unhealthy beliefs, recognize you have them. Listen to what you are saying and pay attention to your thoughts.
2. Submit the wrong thinking to God and ask Him to show you the truth.
3. Ask God to show you if you have a painful memory or resentment controlling your thoughts and decisions.
4. Pray and put off the unhealthy belief controlling your thoughts and put on the truth God shows you from His Word.
I first loosed the wrong thinking that God showed me and replaced it with scripture truths like the following:
- Being patient shows wisdom. It is to my glory to overlook an offense and not be prideful and arrogant. Prov. 19:11; Eccl. 7:8b
- Being patient calms a quarrel, but anger stirs up strife, so I put off my anger and wanting things my way. Prov 15:18
- I can be patient with everyone and accept them. And not complain about them but to forgive them as Christ is patient with me and forgives me. 1 Thes. 5:14b; Col. 3:12b,13
- I trust God to give me what I truly need in His perfect, divine timing. Phil. 4:19; Luke 12:22-34
- I can be humble, gentle, patient, and show tolerance for others in love. Eph. 4:2
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