My 9 year old was watching an old 90’s rerun of Saved by the Bell.  The lead character Zach was put in detention for violating the rules and using the Principle’s phone to enter a radio contest.  In response to Zach’s rule-breaking, he was put in detention and Principal would not let him leave to claim his prize.  How did Zach respond to his punishment?  He turns to his fellow students and proclaims, “This is not fair!”

What did Zach mean by “unfair”?  What Zach meant by “unfair” is that regardless of his actions, he should be able to do what he wants to get what he wants—his trip to Hawaii.

Zach did not regret breaking the rules.  Zach did not care about honoring his Principal.  All he cared about was claiming his prize and at any cost. Rather than ask forgiveness from his Principal, Zach plotted escape from detention.  No matter the cost, he was going to get the end he “deserved.”

In a world full of narcissists, there is no external “right” or “wrong”.  In a world where “truth” is centered in the desires of the individual, the only ethical concern is “fairness”, vis-à-vis, ‘fulfilling my desires my way.’

Dr. J.R. Miller is a Professor of Applied Theology and Leadership & Dean of Online Learning at Southern California Seminary. Outside work, he is a church planter. Dr. Miller has a diverse educational background and authored multiple books on church history, biblical theology, and Leadership. Joe and his wife Suzanne enjoy the sun and surf with their 3 sons in San Diego, CA.

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