This word evokes many different thoughts and emotions.
These words evoke even more thoughts and emotions.
Is there a way to talk about these issues without anger, mistrust, and division? Yes, let me share with you how…
We could label students today the “justice generation.” They embody it in so many ways. Millennials are activists, Gen Z are advocates.
Right now, we cannot avoid the topic of justice, nor should we even try. Here’s why: as Image Bearers of our Creator, every single one of us has a built-in mission for justice. Click To Tweet
This takes on many different versions within each of us, but justice is built into our bones as people, especially as Christ-followers.
So how do we have this conversation?
Below are my thoughts on this topic. They are not comprehensive nor complete. But use this as a personal starting point to engage in this timely and important area in our society.
5 THINGS TO THINK ABOUT REGARDING JUSTICE
- Follow the Bible’s lead on the justice issue, not the mainstream culture’s view
In the words of my friend Will Ford III, the media has ‘pimped our pain’ in the area of injustice. Media messages flood our world with extreme examples of injustice. While some are real and accurate, MOST are not. Always remember, the media companies GET PAID WHEN WE WATCH. They will stop at nothing to get our eyes on their content.
As for me, I stopped watching. The main reason I don’t is because of the lies and myths perpetuated in the news. The lies, myths, and vitriol spill over into my social media feed. So I purposely turn my attention away from it.
“But Jeff, how can you know what’s really going on in the world?” Well, for one, I’ve found that the news somehow will always find you whether or not you look for it! So there’s that. But in my opinion, 99% of what is reported is filled with lies, spin, or at the very least an unspoken agenda. So am I really “knowing what’s really going on” when I feed the media with my attention? The answer is no!
Instead, I read what the Bible has to say about justice. I take my cue from God Himself. Here’s what I’ve found about His views: they don’t change with the 24-hour news cycle. They are timeless and true!
And I interact with those God leads me to in my life and seek justice in ways where I can make a difference. Quite often, this has taken me out of my comfort zone.*
- See the difference between justice and vengeance
We often get confused by the difference between justice and vengeance. Look it up for yourself and read the difference in definitions. But here’s what I know: vengeance is God’s responsibility, not mine. Romans 12:19 “Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.”
I can and should contest peacefully for justice but should not go to war for vengeance. That will only work against my God-given passion for biblical justice.
Much of what we see in public is vengeance, not justice. Know the difference for yourself and for others in helping them see the difference.
- Recognize what is reason and what is emotion
We live in a time of emotion-overload when it comes to justice. This often leads to a mob mentality where reason is pushed aside, and unbridled emotion rules the day.
Especially in times like this, we need to step back and THINK.
There is real hurt and pain out there. Let there be no doubt. We need to feel these issues too; it’s what makes us human.
However, if we are only emotionally driven and not at all reasonable, we will miss the true solutions for justice that God has for us.
- Point to unity and avoid division
God’s solutions always lead to unity. When I see any man-made message or agenda driven by guilt, shame, or blame, I get cautious. Often justice agendas are built upon the foundation of dividing people rather than unifying them. This “us vs. them” mentality is poisonous at its core. We just recognize and reject any movement built upon evil.
Having said that, remember that there are times to repent. Throughout Scripture, repentance took on different layers. It always starts with personal repentance, but often we also see corporate repentance. And astonishingly, this repentance can be for sins of the past that we had nothing to do with personally. God calls for this kind of repentance too.
This repentance is filled with sorrow and grief. It often goes beyond what words can describe.
But at its base is a call for unity and love for all people.
(Twitter) A litmus test: if you see a justice movement that is NOT directing a love for all people, it is NOT of God.
- Ask for God’s heart and perspective
*Last summer, I prayer walked 227 miles on the Trail of Death between Indiana and Kansas. This was the most difficult and painful experience of my life. There’s a lot of reasons why I did this. (Hear the podcast where I share in detail about how and why I did this)
This was a walk of personal sorrow and repentance for myself and our nation. It changed me forever. I am not the same person I was when I started.
I believe the #1 reason it changed me so profoundly is that I intentionally listened to God’s heart about justice.
Jesus said in Matthew 7:7, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” I highly encourage you to be proactive and listen to God and His heart for you regarding how you can fight for justice in our world.
Ultimately, the Gospel is about justice. There’s an old Newsboys song that says, “When we get what we don’t deserve, it’s a real good thing. When we don’t get what we deserve, it’s a real good thing.”
We received life when we didn’t deserve it. We deserved death and instead received life. Thank God that He fought for true justice on our behalf. We should do the same for Him!
TWO FREE RESOURCES FOR YOU ABOUT JUSTICE:
- Anthem protests and hope for healing: true stories of students on the football field – Listen to the podcast
Thanks for all you do!
Jeff Eckart, CEO
Never The Same
© 2021, Never The Same