This post is being written as part of the Bridges group, seeking to close the divide that is creeping into our society. I want to thank Susan Irene Fox and Lilka Raphael for their work on this project and for inviting me to be a part. For more information you can CLICK HERE
What does God want me to do? That is a very popular question with Christians it seems. They want to do the will of God, but they are not sure what that means for them. There are many bible verses that give us direction, and that we use a lot, like: 2 Corinthians 5:18-20 which tells us we are ministers of reconciliation, Mark 16:15, which tells us to go and preach the Gospel: Luke 6:31, which tells us to do unto others as we would have them do unto us. I could go on and on with various scriptures that give us direction. But to my knowledge there Is only one verse in the whole bible that tells us what God REQUIRES of us.
Micah 6:8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good;
and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy,
and to walk humbly with thy God?
Do Justly, Love Mercy and Walk Humbly with my God. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? But it is not so simple, and it is this writer’s opinion that we, as the church, are missing the mark on this one scripture, and thus missing the mark in fulfilling what we are not only supposed to do, but what we are required to do. And if we miss the mark on what is required, how can we be as effective in this world as Christ intended us to be. These three posts are designed to help each of us take a closer look at exactly what it means to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God. Then I pray you will each look inside yourselves, as I have in relation to these three core principles, and ask God to search your heart and bring you closer to His will. I know I have a lot to learn, and I’m ready for God to do that work in me. Are you ready?
This post will deal with the first principle – to do justly – what is that? When I think of justice, I think of someone getting what they deserve for something wrong they have done, or getting let go if they have not done anything wrong. That is the most common thought people have when they hear the word justice. If we look up the word just in our modern dictionary, it means based on or according it what is morally right and fair. It also brings in the concepts of being impartial, unbiased, objective, open-minded and nonpartisan. Wow, that’s a mouthful, and it is a lot to live up to.
Let’s break it down. To do justly means that we need to treat others with no prejudice or bias, with an open mind, objectively, and according to what is morally right and fair. I have a problem from the start. I have some deep-rooted biases that have been with me all my life. I must be honest; African Americans intimidate me. Latinos or Mexicans who are speaking Spanish intimidate me. If someone speaks with a sharp accent, obviously from a foreign dialect, I wonder how they ever got so smart. I sometimes think that if they can’t speak proper English, they couldn’t be so smart, could they? These are the things that go through my head. I am working hard and praying that God will help me renew my mind (Rom 12:2).
Maybe I’m alone in this, but I don’t think so. I think we all have our biases and they prevent us from properly judging, or doing justly. The key here is going back to the Golden Rule, found in Leviticus 19:18. Yes, that’s right. This was not a New testament doctrine that Jesus introduced. It was buried in the heart of the Levitical law. “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself”. Do justly is embodied in that simple saying.
Would you want someone treating you differently because of the color of your skin? Or because of your weight, or height, or ethnic background? Many of you may face this already, and I doubt any of the rest would answer yes to those questions. We should not treat others different because of those things. When we think we are better, or more privileged, that’s just pride creeping into our thinking, and that is not good. In fact, we should be doing the opposite – preferring others above ourselves (Phil 2:3-4). When we can get to that point, we will be doing justly.
Remember, God preferred us above His own Son when He sent His Son to die in our place. He does not care if we are black or white, short or tall, smart or not so smart, talented or not. He loves us all equally. That is what He asks us to do. Love all equally – then we can do justly!
Tomorrow we will look at the second requirement – Love Mercy. Please come back.