Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with Whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. Of His own will He brought us forth by the Word of Truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures. (James 1:16-18—NIV)

When we think that life is unfair we tend to become rash in our thinking and actions. James reminds believers to be swift to hear, slow to speak and slow to wrath. How can we demonstrate Spirit-led self control in the middle of the seriousness of life? Our text answers boldly. It teaches that when we are tempted to accuse God of placing upon us some unfair circumstance in life we are thinking wrongly. We are exhibiting a fine case of "stinkin’ thinkin’" and need to yield to the goodness and wisdom of our Heavenly Father.

When we were little we felt quite free to accuse anyone within hearing that "It’s not fair!" I used to teach my children that they needed to know two things about "fair." First, life is not always fair. Second, they did not know what fair was, and that is why God gave them me—to teach them a sense of fair play even when life is not fair.

God teaches us that He is not a respecter of persons. One of the applications of this statement in the Word is that He is the ultimate Fair Dealer. He does not grade on a curve, He cannot be bought, He "keeps the books," and He always has the last word. He is God and He is perfect. It is His standard of fairness which each member of His creation must learn to abide by, accept, and respect

Our text tells us not to wander into deception. Deception can be foisted upon us by someone else, or by our own wayward heart. "Shall not the judge of all the earth do right?" Abraham asked in Genesis 18. We must wake up to the reality that we are not the authority on what is fair. The point is that God is What and Who He says He is, He is just and right in all He does.

What we trust is that God’s dealings toward His own are as the text says. Verse 17 uses the word "gift" twice in English but in the Greek language the giving is looked at from two directions. The first (good gift) is God’s act of giving—the appropriateness, extent, intent, duration, uniqueness, stewardship required, and timing is fair. The second (perfect gift) is God’s object given—the gift itself. There is no variable in God, nor is there the slightest shadow of turning. "All things work together for good to them that love God and are the called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28

How do we know God’s fairness will not fail? Verse 18 teaches us that God sees the big picture of His purpose for us. He willed to give us eternal life (a good deal). The rule by which He engendered that life is the Word of Truth (talk about fair dealing!). His goal is to make us firstfruits of His creatures (more than fair dealing). According to this text the best is yet to come! So when you are tempted by "stinkin’ thinkin’," be quick trust and obey. God is more than fair even to us undeserving of the least of His favors!