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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Justice

"It's not fair!"

If you've got kids of your own, you've heard these words on many occasions. In fact, if you're capable of remembering back to your own childhood, you probably mumbled them yourself a time or two. I know that might kids have become quite proficient in declaring injustice, able to do it in at least four different languages (with or without eye rolling).

Let's face it, none of us likes injustice. We believe that good should conquer evil. It is right for the good guy to win. There are some things that just should not happen or it's considered "unfair."

But justice is not limited to childhood fantasies. As adults, we all have had times when we wanted to scream "unfair" at the world we live in. When the younger guy gets the raise you had been promised, it's unfair. When the dishonest neighbor always seems to get away with everything, it's unfair. When a politician cheats his constituents and betrays their trust, it's unfair (fairly common these days but still...unfair).

A word of caution. As we scream injustice at a world run amok with unfair events, let me remind you that justice isn't always what we're seeking. Sometimes, it's our special interests we're really looking out for. But while we are screaming for justice from everyone else, we must remember that God desires justice too...from us.

He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8 NIV

However, living justly and demanding justice from others should always be coupled with mercy. Don't agree? Then wait for the day you have to stand before God and say, "God, give me what I deserve. I want you to be fair."

No, fairness isn't what we seek. It's mercy. And if we seek it for ourselves we should be willing to offer it to others. To do that, you and I must learn to walk humbly with God. Justice is good. Always will be. But, as believers, we must learn to offer mercy to those who have experienced the unfair nature of the world we live in...even if they are the cause.

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