The one line I hear from my girls on a daily basis is It's not fair. One child has received something that the others didn't; or one child didn't receive punishment that the others thought she should. Jealousy is rampant among the three of them. And though I try my best not to show favoritism or partiality, they assume that's what I'm doing sometimes when they see one of them being treated differently from what they think should occur. However, the tables turn when it's their turns to receive blessing or avoid punishment.
For instance, I usually buy them clothes all at the same time. But this past week, we went on a trip, and Grace didn't have a single pair of shorts that fit. So I took her on a quick shopping trip to pick up several pairs of shorts and a couple of shirts. While shopping for her, I did pick up an item for each of the other girls (my attempt at being fair). But when we returned home and the other two girls saw that Grace had gotten more clothes than either of them, the whining started: It's not fair. I wanted more clothes like Grace.
Another example is when I choose to be lenient in punishment. There are certain behaviors which have set punishments at our house. There are some behaviors that judgments for punishment are made when the "crime" occurs. What usually happens is that one child tattles on another for something, and the tattling child wants the maximum punishment for the misbehaving child(ren). But sometimes, depending on the circumstances, I choose to have grace-filled teaching moments instead of punishments. That's when the whining will begin: It's not fair. She should be grounded, or get a spanking, or...
Sometime I whine to God. I see others blessed in some way I want to be blessed, and I kick into the It's not fair routine. I see others behaving in a way for which, I think, they should receive punishment. Again, I'll whine to God: Why are they getting away with that when I know You won't let me do that?
It dawned on me the other day as my children were whining about something not being fair, that it's my decision how I will bless or punish my children. They have no say-so about it. They can like it, or not. I have my reasons, and sometimes they're not based on the children's behaviors.
It's the same with God. He said to Moses, I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion (Ex. 33:19). It's not for me to whine about when someone receives a blessing, and I don't. It's not for me to whine about when He grants grace to someone who I think should receive condemnation. Those whinings boil down to jealousy on my part. I must be reminded that His ways are higher than my ways, and His thoughts higher than my thoughts (Is. 55:9). God is God, and all His ways are just. And, goodness, I'm surely not going to whine when He offers blessing or grace to me!
What about you? Do you sometimes whine to God with the It's not fair routine? Do you recognize the whining for what it is: jealousy?