In working with kids, we often hear, “That’s not fair.” We are born with an innate intuition of fairness. This is why a 5-year-old recognizes when something is unfair and seeks restitution or a balancing of fairness. What Jesus asks of us here is to be unfair, to go against our intuition, and to forgive. If someone has treated us unjustly, we are not to seek restitution or fairness; rather we are to be unfair to them by forgiving them.
Our human intuition of fairness seems offended, but Jesus follows this command up by saying that God will also forgive us. God has no need to forgive, but God always forgives. God’s unfairness must become our model response. We should strive to be unfair to others by always treating them with the unfairness of God.
—Liliana Mamani Condori is a Peruvian lawyer pursuing a master’s degree in theological studies at Boston College. Sam Hay is finishing his MA in Theology and Ministry at B.C., and currently works for its School of Education.