God has always wanted the vulnerable in society to be cared for. He never intended for them to languish in poverty, abuse, slavery, homelessness, or other types of devastation. When we care for individuals who are trapped in these ways, when we show them love and help them move toward freedom and wholeness, we participate in bringing a little part of God’s Kingdom back into alignment with His greater plan. We do justice and God smiles.
How are we loving when we are silent on injustice? What good are our claims to love when we shrink back when the voices get too loud or caustic or personal? There will always be good excuses and proof texts to justify a shrug of the shoulders, but we must fight passivity and look to the God who took action on our behalf.
My mother would take the Band-Aid off, clean the wound, and say, “Things that are covered don’t heal well.” Mother was right. Things that are covered do not heal well.
The world has a history of denouncing and killing messiahs who don’t deliver what it wants. Moreover, the world does not want a God who is God over against the world. Rather, the world wants a lapdog god it can domesticate and control, a sweet god who indulges and blesses the sickness, the selfishness–in other words, the sinfulness of the world. The world does not want a messiah, or for that matter, doctors or lawyers or pastors or parents who give people what they need. The world wants a messiah and doctors and lawyers and pastors and parents who give people what they want.
It is one thing to be awakened to injustice and quite another to be willing to be inconvenienced and interrupted to do something about it.
We can no longer harbor it [unforgiveness and hurt] for later use against the other person. We must surrender the wound or injustice that may have become a cherished, if bitter, possession. Letting go of this vengeful possession, we lose a painful advantage we have been savoring, but we regain the personal energy that has been dissipated as we nourished this hurt.
Powerful and wily people use apologies to escape judgment for great evils, they betray a trust and, found out, they say they are sorry for mistakes in judgment. They commit a crime, and they call their crimes errors which they regret. They sneak around their offense on the oiled wheels of apology when their crime calls for nothing less than oceanic tears of remorse.
When you give up vengeance, make sure you are not giving up on justice. The line between the two is faint, unsteady, and fine…Vengeance is our own pleasure of seeing someone who hurt us getting it back and then some. Justice, on the other hand, is secure when someone pays a fair penalty for wronging another even if the injured person takes no pleasure in the transaction. Vengeance is personal satisfaction. Justice is moral accounting…Human forgiveness does not do away with human justice.
Have we as a people been so dumbed down we can’t see it? Well, this is what happens, I’m afraid, in a postmodern culture where all values are equivalent and all truth is relative. One moment the President browbeats Congress to pass a trade bill with China. Forget Christians being persecuted. The same day the same President moments later angrily demands sanctions against Japan for hunting whales. There are no principles, just momentary preferences, and everything depends on what’s to be gained by those in positions of power….What’s good enough for whales ought to be good enough for persecuted Christians.
It is hard enough, even with the best will in the world, to be just. It is hard, under the pressure of haste, uneasiness, ill-temper, self-complacency, and conceit, to continue intending justice. Power corrupts; the “insolence of office” will creep in. We see it so clearly in our superiors; is it unlikely that our inferiors see it in us? How many of those who have been over us did not sometimes (perhaps often) need our forgiveness? Be sure that we likewise need the forgiveness of those that are under us.