My husband was watching some commentary on loan forgiveness. The talking heads kept reiterating that this wasn’t “compassionate” because it isn’t “fair” to the people who paid off their loans.
Regardless of your feelings regarding that particular policy, I want to dispel this ridiculous idea that Compassion = Fair.
Fairness doesn’t exist in this world. If everyone got what was fair, we would all be dead. (Because we are all sinners and the wages of sin is death). I get a lot of people around here aren’t Christians, so don’t care much for that phrasing, so let me put it another way. If the world were fair, Bernie would be living in Venezuela waiting in a bread line. If life were fair, 53 percent of the homicides in Chicago wouldn’t be unsolved. If life were fair, we wouldn’t have BOGO deals, freebies at job fairs, or any number of ridiculous and mundane bonuses in life.
And yet, we should show compassion to others. Please take note: a moral people is a compassionate people. If compassion equaled fairness and fairness doesn’t exist, then compassion wouldn’t exist, either. Therefore, compassion does not mean fairness.
Compassion is about grace. A silly little word that means getting what you do not deserve (in a positive way). So, if you want to be compassionate, you are absolutely talking about the exact opposite of fairness. And yes, if you are giving grace to someone, it might not be fair to someone who doesn’t need that grace – but life isn’t fair!
Again, this post isn’t about what brought this to my attention, it is about compassion, so don’t let what you think my position on loan forgiveness is colored by what follows. This isn’t about loan forgiveness. Here’s the question: should we be compassionate even when it means making things unfair? (If your answer is no, please see the parable of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15 and refer yourself to the oldest son.)Published in