What Does the Bible Say About Fairness?

Fairness is a concept that we all have an intuitive understanding of. When someone is treated unfairly, we recoil at the injustice. As human beings, we want to see fair outcomes in life.

The Bible has a lot to say about the topics of justice, impartiality, equity and righteousness. While the word “fairness” itself is not found in most English translations, the concept is seen throughout Scripture. In this comprehensive blog post, we will explore the biblical principles of fairness.


Fairness is about people getting what they deserve – whether rewards or punishments. It implies a standard exists for determining what is just or right in a given situation. True fairness comes from God Himself. The Bible reveals that the Lord:

  • Is intrinsically fair and acts with justice (Deut 32:4)
  • Commands His followers to be fair and impartial (Lev 19:15)
  • Will judge all people with perfect fairness (Acts 17:31; Rom 2:11)
  • Shows no favoritism or partiality (Deut 10:17; Acts 10:34)

Though we live in an unfair world corrupted by sin, God’s people are called to pursue and uphold fairness as much as possible. Scripture provides guidance on how to make just decisions, treat people equitably, and leave the ultimate righting of wrongs to God.

Key Takeaways:

  • Fairness originates from the intrinsic character of God
  • God commands His people to act justly and impartially
  • On judgment day, God will judge every person with perfect fairness
  • Believers must fight injustice and partiality in this world
  • Ultimate and perfect fairness will only come when Jesus returns
What Does the Bible Say About Fairness?

God’s Character Is Fundamentally Fair

The basic meaning of fairness is consistent treatment – judging things by the same standard. What is the ultimate standard for fairness? God Himself. Scripture reveals that the Lord’s intrinsic nature is perfectly just. He defines what fairness is. Let’s look at verses that highlight God’s fair character:

“As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the LORD is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him. For who is God, except the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God? God is my strength and power, And He makes my way perfect.” (2 Samuel 22:31-33 NKJV)

“He is the Rock, His work is perfect; For all His ways are justice, A God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He.” (Deuteronomy 32:4 NKJV)

“Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!” (Isaiah 30:18 NIV)

One of God’s core attributes is that He is just. He always acts according to His perfect moral standard – which is Himself! There is no unrighteousness in the Lord (Psalm 92:15). His ways are right and good.

This means God’s dealings with us will be intrinsically fair. He doesn’t bend the rules for anyone. He cannot be bribed. There is never a valid accusation of unfairness that can be leveled against God.

As Christians, it is incredibly comforting to know that the Lord is a righteous judge. He will deal with us in an upright manner. God doesn’t play favorites or treat anyone with injustice.

God Commands His Followers to Act Fairly

If God Himself is the standard of fairness, then it follows that His commands to His people would reflect His just nature. Scripture contains many verses where God instructs His followers to uphold justice and righteousness. He wants His people to emulate His fairness.

For example, Exodus 23:2-3 says this:

You shall not follow a crowd to do evil; nor shall you testify in a dispute so as to turn aside after many to pervert justice. You shall not show partiality to a poor man in his dispute.” (Exodus 23:2-3 NKJV)

These verses forbid God’s people from going along with the crowd if they are doing wrong. Even if it puts you in the majority, never pervert true justice. The passage also instructs us not to favor someone in their legal dispute simply because they are poor. We must treat both rich and poor alike in an impartial manner.

Leviticus 19:15 also emphasizes impartiality:

You shall do no injustice in judgment. You shall not be partial to the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty. In righteousness you shall judge your neighbor.” (Leviticus 19:15 NKJV)

As God’s ambassadors on earth, Christians are called to uphold divine fairness. The Lord commands us not to play favorites or give undue preference to the rich and powerful. We must treat all people in a righteous, equitable manner.

Here are some additional verses that instruct God’s people to act justly:

“You must not distort justice; you must not show partiality; and you must not accept bribes, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and subverts the cause of those who are in the right.” (Deuteronomy 16:19 NIV)

Maintain justice and do what is right, for my salvation is close at hand and my righteousness will soon be revealed.” (Isaiah 56:1 NIV)

“Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.” (Isaiah 1:17 NIV)

“Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees, to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people…” (Isaiah 10:1-2 NIV)

Clearly God cares deeply about justice and righteousness. His commands to His people reflect His intrinsic just nature. As Christians, we are called to be champions of fairness, both inside and outside the Church.

On Judgment Day, God Will Judge Fairly

The Bible teaches that God has fixed a day when He will judge the world in righteousness (Acts 17:31). On judgment day, the Lord will judge the hearts of every man, woman and child with perfect justice.

No human judge can ever hope to achieve this level of flawless equity. But God alone is up to the task. He knows all things – including the secret thoughts and motives of every person. He will weigh all the evidence perfectly.

Let’s look at what Scripture says about God’s future judgment:

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” (2 Corinthians 5:10 NIV)

“Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” (Hebrews 4:13 NIV)

“For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:14 NIV)

“But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed.” (Romans 2:5 NIV)

“For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.” (Acts 17:31 NIV)

What a fearful thing to face the omniscient Judge of all the earth! Thankfully, Christians who have trusted in Christ’s atoning work on the cross will not have to suffer condemnation (Romans 8:1). Our sins have been paid for.

Still, we will have to give an account for how we lived our lives (Romans 14:12). All our actions – good and bad – will be judged with perfect justice. God will be completely fair, with no possibility of error or lapse of memory.

The coming judgment reminds us of the vital need for righteousness. We must pursue holiness and uphold justice now, knowing that a perfectly fair reckoning is coming.

Believers Must Oppose Injustice in This World

Though God alone will judge rightly in the end, Christians are called to stand against injustice in the present world. The Bible exhorts believers to defend the oppressed and promote fairness now.

We are to be like the prophets who confronted corrupt leaders and systems. We must speak up for those who are marginalized or treated unfairly.

“Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.” (Isaiah 1:17 NIV)

“Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.” (Proverbs 31:8-9 ESV)

“You stand up for the rights of evildoers; you show favor to the guilty.” (Psalm 82:2 GW)

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” (Proverbs 31:8-9 NIV)

Of course, fighting injustice should be carried out in a godly manner. We must avoid responding to evil with more evil. Though passionate about fairness, Christians must retain love and mercy, just as God Himself does.

Still, it is clear that followers of Christ have a responsibility to uphold justice – especially on behalf of the weak and voiceless. We are called to be agents of fairness in an unfair world.

Perfect Fairness Will Come at Christ’s Return

Though we strive for justice in this age, the Bible promises that perfect fairness will ultimately come. Upon His return, Jesus will establish His kingdom on earth. He will rule in righteousness. The world will finally experience untainted justice.

Isaiah 11 paints a vivid picture of the fairness that will flow from Christ’s reign:

“With righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth…The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.” (Isaiah 11:4,6 NIV)

The Sermon on the Mount also points to the justice that will define Jesus’ kingdom:

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” (Matthew 5:6 NIV)

As Christians, we can take heart that fairness and justice will ultimately prevail. The corruption and wickedness so prevalent today is temporary. When Jesus establishes His rightful reign over the earth, the world will finally operate according to divine justice. What a glorious day that will be!

Until that day arrives, may we passionately pursue fairness. And may the perfect justice of Christ motivate us to live righteous lives. His coming kingdom calls us to walk in holiness now.

Final Thoughts

This comprehensive overview reveals how central the concepts of fairness, justice and righteousness are within Scripture. From God’s intrinsic nature, to His commands and future judgment – the theme of impartiality courses through the Bible.

As Christians, we serve the God of perfect fairness. We look forward to the day when Christ will rule the world in flawless justice. And we are called to champion equity in our world today.

Fairness is part of God’s plan to restore Shalom – the comprehensive peace, justice and flourishing that God intended for the world. Through Jesus, God is setting all things right. He is evening the scales.

May the truth of God’s perfect justice and the hope of Christ’s coming kingdom inspire us to live justly, love mercy, and walk humbly before our God.

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