Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Just & Fair

Many people use “just” and “fair” with usage tending toward “fair.” It is an unconscious admission that the two words do not have the same meaning.

Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary, “synonyms. Fair, Just, Equitable, Impartial, Unbiased, Dispassionate, and Objective.

“Fair” implies an elimination of one’s own feelings, prejudices and desires so as to achieve a proper balance of conflicting interests. “Just” implies an exact following of a standard of what is right and proper. Equitable implies a less rigorous standard than “Just” and suggests equal treatment of all concerned.”

Notice the difference, “Just” is absolute. The other words are relative. “Just” is God-centered. “Fair” is man-centered. God is “Just.” We would like Him to be “Fair.”

The words are very different.

1 comment:

Matthew N. Petersen said...

I'm not sure I understand your understanding of justice.

"'Just' implies an exact following of a standard of what is right and proper."

And Leviticus 20:10 "If a man commits adultery with another man's wife—with the wife of his neighbor—both the adulterer and the adulteress must be put to death."

But Joseph is described as just precisely in that he does not seek to exactly follow this standard of what is right and proper.

"Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily."