It doesn’t take long for us to see injustice, and brokenness in the world around us. And in our lifetime, with the rise of the internet and social media, we can see all of it almost instantly. We scoff and rebuke, rejoice and cry or fearfully cower at it all. But look how these words from Micah ring out thousands of years later:
“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8 ESV
I remember reading these words years ago and almost missing any meaning or relevance in them. But over the last few years, they’ve jumped off the page at me. The first truth we see is that God is the one defining these ideas for us. Definitions can vary from person to person, but in order to understand what God is calling us to do, we need God’s definition
Second, “to do justice” means to follow God’s plan for order as this is echoed from the Garden through Revelation. God’s plan is for wholeness and redemption between him and his creation through the gospel of Christ. His sacrifice, leading to his resurrection provides us with the needed atonement to bring us in relationship with God.
Third, we must see justice and kindness as connected as we work within God’s plan for order. We do not wrestle against flesh and blood (Ephesians 6), and must truly love others by covering a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4). At the end of the day, I am not looking to destroy another’s life but to bring justice by striving to expose sin and wrong in their life for them to find redemption by God’s grace. It is love which covers us by allowing us to be restored privately. Love is not whitewashing sin or placating. Kindness is not avoidance of speaking and addressing truth in an effort to be “nice”. Kindness is, however, a heart attitude of love motivated by both truth and the betterment of another. And to love kindness means we desire to model truth before others with the sole focus of their benefit in mind. Instead, when we miss these connections, we contribute to the detriment of others’ lives. This detriment is what we see played out daily in our world.
Ultimately, we must walk humbly with God to achieve this call for justice. Jesus pointed out how easy it is identify the speck in another person’s eye yet miss the plank in our own (Luke 6). But true biblical humility means we are aware of our own need for God’s grace for the treason we have committed against him. So we share and lovingly walk alongside others in upholding justice.
Here’s the truth: until we see Christ as the greatest need of every person, our world remains broken. The world is crying out for this truth! I pray God’s grace as we humbly strive to bring justice with love and kindness.