The Code…Be Tough But Fair

This is the fifth article in the Cowboy Code series that I have written in Great Plains living.  Of all of the Cowboy ethics we have talked about, “Be Tough, but Fair” might be one of the most lacking in our society today.  It’s really easy to find examples of people who are tough and maybe we can even name a few people who we might consider fair, but the combination of the two is where most people like myself fail.  Who is the first person that comes to mind when you think about someone who was or is “Tough but Fair”.  John Wayne?  Roy Rogers?  Gene Autry?  All of which are great examples of “Tough but Fair” cowboys in the movies, but we know they were just human and in real life, they made some mistakes.  So, as I started to put my thoughts to paper, the week before Easter, I simply couldn’t get off my mind that there really is only one perfect example of someone who was, is and always will be, “Tough but Fair”.  His name is Jesus.
No, Jesus wasn’t a cowboy during his time here on earth, but he did ride a donkey.  My belief that Jesus was fully human and that He is fully God is why I say no one, including the best of the cowboys, has ever been tougher or will ever be fairer.
Jesus as a human was tough.  During the time He spent here on earth in human form, He suffered the most painful and humiliating death known while going through more mental suffering and anguish than any human has ever endured.   His mental strain from carrying the burden of all of our sins was so much that the Bible tells us he literally sweated drops of blood the night before his crucifixion.  No human has ever been tougher.
Jesus as God is fair.  How many times have each of us said or at least thought “that’s not fair”?  I will confess that I probably weigh things on the fairness scales several times a day and catch myself saying “that’s not fair”.  When we see injustice on earth, it is at the hands of men as the Bible tells us that God is just. This means that He is fair and impartial. It also means that He hates the very things that we would call unfair, the ill-treatment and oppression of people and of nature, which He has created.  The fact that God is just means that He can and will judge between right and wrong and He will administer justice in accordance with His standards, in His time.
I have a friend in law enforcement that has a movie poster showing Doc Holliday and the Earp brothers walking down the street of Tombstone, side by side, fully armed.   The poster is titled “Justice is Coming”.   Revelations 19:11 speaks of Jesus’ return to earth.  It says, “I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war.”  Justice is coming and this time He will be riding a white horse instead of a donkey.

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