This has been rattling around in my brain lately, so I'm doing a brain dump.
I've been listening to the cries for fairness and the cries for justice and mercy. Each side sounds reasonable. I was raised in a home that concentrated on being fair. For example, all the children were given an equal number of gifts that totaled relatively equal amounts. Sadly, sometimes too much emphasis was put on fairness and not enough on individual needs. Not an uncommon problem.
In church, I learned about Justice and Mercy. Jesus died for me, so I wouldn't have to suffer: Mercy and Justice balanced.
What I've learned, over the years: Fairness is a lie. There is no such thing as Fair. Consider: Who decides what is fair? What is the measurement? Fair is subjective, decided by whoever has the power to enforce it. What's fair about that? Pretending that most people understand what "fair" means is pretending everyone thinks alike, which has been proven a fallacy, over and over again through history.
Justice and Mercy are about right and wrong. Justice demands right be rewarded and wrong be punished. Mercy reminds that the only One who is perfect has already paid the price for wrong doing. All we need to do is accept His terms and conditions. There was nothing about fairness or Justice in the suffering and death of my Savior, Jesus Christ. He offers mercy. I don't need to pay the price for my bumblings through life if I'll only accept Him as my Savior. Accepting Him as my Savior means I choose Him over Justice and Fairness. I concede my need for Justice and Fairness to His greater wisdom and mercy. He is perfect. He is the only One I trust to faithfully execute Justice.
As to the laws of man? We are petty creatures. Men twist laws to suit their own ends. Men attempt to dole out fairness by their small-minded understanding, interpreting for themselves what is right and wrong, to often changing according to the winds of Fairness.
Fairness has nothing to do with either Justice or Mercy. In fact, Justice and Mercy cannot exist where Fairness reigns.