When teenagers lament, "But that's not fair!" parents often retort, "Well, life isn't fair."
Of course, it's easier to say that to a teenager when we as parents can see the bigger picture. But, what about when we find ourselves in situations when life is truly unfair? Do we see our circumstances with the same clarity? Do we get frustrated and yell at God, demanding answers and blessings to negate our trials?
It's a natural tendency to want fairness, but the fact remains that life is not, nor will it ever be, fair.
Each of us will face our own unique trials in life. Some are born into poverty or other less-than-ideal circumstances. Some suffer from things — like sexual, physical, emotional or verbal abuse — because of someone else's poor choices. Loved ones leave this life much too soon. Marriages become broken. Health can quickly decline.
While we may look at others and see their seemingly perfect lives, no one is exempt from pain and trials in this life. We may think others have it easier, but we really don't know what their personal experiences are.
All people suffer, and none of it is fair.
Our individual strengths and weaknesses also make life unfair.
Some of us have observable talents, while others have gifts that aren't easily seen by others. We may view our weaknesses or the shortcomings of others and issue harsh judgments.
None of us has equal strengths or weaknesses; we all have a set of our own. These can be the source of our greatest trials and our biggest triumphs. Recognize your own, and improve weaknesses by utilizing your strengths.
Trails (unfairness) in our lives help us learn and grow and eventually become the best versions of ourselves.
Think of the strong and amazing people you know. In order to get to "strong and amazing," they had to pass through numerous struggles. Few people have reached success without many failed attempts.
Despite our hardships, we can do the best we know how. We can keep a positive attitude and work through hard times with determination. Others around us who have gone through similar trials can be a source of strength during particularly difficult times.
Do not give up. Keep moving forward. You will get through it.
Religious leader Dale Renlund stated, "Because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, ultimately, in the eternal scheme of things, there will be no unfairness. 'All that is unfair about life can be made right.' Our present circumstances may not change, but through God's compassion, kindness, and love, we will all receive more than we deserve, more than we can ever earn, and more than we can ever hope for. We are promised that 'God shall wipe away all tears from [our] eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away [KJV Revelation 21:4].'"
God will compensate for all the unfairness in our lives. Because of God's grace and the Atonement, the unfair disadvantages we have had will be made up to us. Through His mercy, we will be given more than what is fair.
Though life in not fair, we can realize unfairness is actually a good thing. With our strengths, weaknesses and trials, we can become better than we are today.
Keep trying and keep going. Know God is cheering you on. He is waiting at the finish line of life, ready to pour out His blessings and compassion. His kindness and love are more than we can imagine and will make all wrongs right.
Life isn't fair, but we have hope in the mercy and goodness of God.