Consider this mathematical concept that relates key human behaviors in a gospel context. It begins with the basic concept of a desire for some fairness in some aspect.
Listed are a few examples, though the concepts are extensible to many others:
Work or Chores
The equation is most enlightening:
We begin by a simple inequality and then expand with more refinements that improve the modeling. Consider the following example with chores (C) as the main variable. If you felt that each person should share an equal load, then as long as your(y) workload is less than or equal to others(o) then a sense of equity is maintained
Cy <= Co
If you have a sense of Altruism(Ay) are willing to do some percent of excess and still feel OK about the arrangement then we modify the equation as follows:
Cy <= AyCo
For example if my Ay is 2 ie I am still OK working 2x as the other.
Cy <= 2Co
This means that as long as I am working no more than twice as hard as the other person, then I am still OK with that and my sense of equity is still maintained.
Then, (THIS is KEY) we must acknowledge that the natural man often Perceives(Py) his own contributions in excess of actuality(> 1), whereas we can never know or Perceive(P) the real extent of others work. I, for example can seldom appreciate all the work your Mom does unless I was bird-dogging her all day long. Therefore my Perception(Po) of her work will always be less than 1. Therefore, perceived equity (from your perspective) is achieved when we modify the equation as follows:
CyPy <= AyCoPo : Where Py>>Po
This means that since your perception of your own work generally exceeds reality, you need to work harder than you perceive to actually hold your own end up. Conversely, since the other actually works harder than your perception could ever likely reveal, they would have to work far harder than would actually be equitable before you ever perceived them as pulling a fair share of effort.
The actual relationship of Py=PkPo might easily have a Perception(k) value of 2-10; mine is probably around 5. Substituting we get:
CyPy <= AyCoPo ; Py=PkPo
Cy(PkPo) <= AyCoPo
CyPk <= AyCo
Cy <= (Ay/Pk) Co
If my perception ratio Pk is 5 and my Altruism factor Ay is 2 then
Cy <= 2/5Co then
Cy 2.5 <= Co
Forget the altruism part and you get
Cy 5 <= Co
This means that the other person would have to work 2.5 – 5 times harder than you in actuality before you ever perceived that they were pulling their fair share!!!!
Consider the implication for forgiveness. This means if the same ratios held, you’d have to forgive the other person 5 times more than seems tit for tat before actually achieving equity. No wonder Jesus told us not to judge, forgive without limit etc.
See Mathew 7.