He has shown you, O mortal, 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
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness.” Matthew 23:23
Maybe it’s just me, but I find justice hard to define. It’s almost easier to get at a definition by defining its absence. For instance, my wife is always claiming that it’s an injustice that where you live should determine whether you live, but it’s true.
There are places in downtown Los Angeles where a three-year-old child stands a greater chance of being shot on his or her own front porch than in other neighborhoods. That’s an injustice.
There are places on this planet where a child stands a much higher chance of dying from malnutrition before he or she is five years old than in other places. That’s an injustice.
Right now there are many people concerned that you stand a greater chance of being shot in this country by law enforcement if your skin is one color over another. If that’s true, it’s an injustice.
As followers of Christ we need to care about things like this, even if what we can do about them is limited.
Justice is important to God. Jesus chided the Pharisees for being concerned about measuring out the tithes of their herbs and spices while ignoring the much more important issues of justice, mercy and faithfulness.
I believe we can do a lot more about these things than we think we can. Certainly we can treat everyone the same in our circle of influence and with equal importance. Certainly we can humble ourselves by considering others more important than ourselves. And we can give to causes that are seeking to better a child’s chance of living out his or her life with basic necessities and opportunities to grow. And we can combat racism in all forms starting with our own hearts and minds.
I think you’ll agree with me when I say that we have to start somewhere.