Column: When Life is Unfair
Published 11:08 am Monday, July 24, 2023
By Randy Reid | Clanton First Assembly of God
We all have our own personal stories of being unfairly passed-over, mistreated or perhaps we were a victim of bias and was powerless to do anything about it. Many have known the frustration the Widow experienced in Luke 18 who stood before the unjust judge because of a wrong that was perpetrated against her. The judge, because he was unjust and self-serving, was unwilling to do anything about it despite knowing full-well that she was innocently wronged. The truth is that to some degree everyone has had their own experience as a victim of bias, unfair treatment or injustice. It is something that many will experience throughout life from time to time.
Injustice and unfair bias is not something that is peculiar to our day. It has existed upon the earth since the fall of man, for as long as man’s evil heart has existed upon the earth. And it’s something the followers of Jesus have been familiar with since the Church was birthed in Acts 2. In fact, injustice and mistreatment was one reason Peter wrote this first epistle to the church.
Peter’s first epistle was a letter wrote to a church that was experiencing untold persecution on practically every front. At the time of Peter’s witting his first epistle, the New Testament Church was only about 35 years old. The Roman government, under the leadership of Nero, was inflicting untold, widespread hardship upon the Church. It was during this time that the city of Rome burned. Nero’s hatred of Christians is evidenced by the fact that Nero himself was suspected of setting the fires of Rome in order to build a grander city. But to direct attention away from himself he pointed the finger at the Christians who were easy targets for accusation and blame. In fact, Nero ordered the unjust punishment of Christians not only in the city of Rome but in all the provinces of the Empire. As a result, it was open season for persecution of Christians throughout the Roman Empire. It was Nero who would have both Apostles Paul and Peter executed in his quest to quell the spread of Christianity.
It was during those tumultuous times that Peter wrote his epistle to the believers to encourage them to remain strong and faithful and determined as they endured the open season of heavy persecution on the Church. That is why believers are encouraged in 1 Peter 4:12 to not think it was strange when they encountered the fiery trials associated with naming the name Jesus. Rather they were to rejoice, because persecution and unfair treatment is a sure sign of Christian faithfulness in a Christ-hating world.
The theme of Peter’s first epistle to the believer is to be strong amidst the unfair treatment of life. He urged the faithful to be faithful in the face of injustices and persecution they were suffering. He admonished believers to look beyond injustice, blame, unfairness treatment and persecution and reminded them to rejoice because this earth was not their home. Along with Peter, the Apostle Paul urged the church in Galatians 6:9; to not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.