What Does Justice Look Like?

providence face pic by Providence Crowder

What is justice and why does everyone demand it?  What does it look like?  What does it feel like?  Would you recognize justice if you saw it?

In this nation alone, there are endless claims of injustice.  Many black Americans demand justice to end what they deem are racial inequalities and police brutality.  The recent Black Lives Matter movement was said to be birthed from these perceived injustices.  People who identify themselves as homosexuals demand justice for what they claim is discrimination in the workforce.

Several women in this nation demand justice.  They demand it concerning what they deem is a War on Women waged by “right wingers”  who they say want to prevent them from doing what they want with their bodies and “chauvinists” who preclude them from earning equal pay as their male counterparts for equal work.  Numerous American poor have demanded justice for what they deem as oppressive laws or laws favoring the rich.  Many Hispanic Americans claim racial profiling by police while several Muslim American’s allege unjust treatment from the government and believe they are caught in the cross hairs of America’s War on Terror.

Some Americans believe their religious freedoms are being diminished, while others believe that their rights to protect and defend themselves by bearing arms is being threatened by the very government that was birthed to protect those rights.  Some believe all of our God-given rights are under siege, and this they believe is a grave injustice.  Some believe that there is a war being waged on unborn future Americans and believe that our law has not only failed in its duty to protect the innocent, but it has wholly turned against them.

Certainly instances of injustice are found in both our public and private affairs. However, there are mass claims of injustice by nearly everyone, everywhere!  Injustice is not the exception; it appears injustice is the rule.  Whether the claim is merited or unmerited, perceived or actual, there is at any given time dozens of groups alleging injustice and demanding justice from someone, somewhere.

Some “war” against some injustice is continuously being waged in the political arena.  Yet what good is waging a war if you don’t know the enemy?  What good is waging a war if you have no strategy?  What good is prescribing medicine if you have not properly diagnosed the illness?

It is one thing to treat the symptom.  It’s a whole other thing to cure the disease. We can all see fruits of injustice all around us so we do well to make laws to protect people from harm from other people.  Laws to protect, that’s treating a symptom, but how can one cure a depraved and wicked heart?  The wicked and depraved heart, that’s the disease.  Billions suffer from “Heart” disease–the number one killer of people all over the world.

If justice, in its most basic terms, is upholding what is right and condemning what is wrong, then the whole world is guilty of injustice because “there is none righteous, no not one” (Rom. 3:10).  “For certain, there is not a righteous man on earth who always does good and never sins” (Ecc. 7:20). The fruits of injustice dwell within us all.

So, we continually seek justice, never satisfied because everywhere we look there is injustice.  In our neighborhoods and communities and in every other place around the world, there is injustice!  We cannot flee from the endless barrage of hatred, envy, strife, murder, backbiting, lying, stealing, cheating, selfishness, covetousness, pride . . .

We even name our injustices:  Abuse of power, abortion, human trafficking, slavery, oppression, poverty, homelessness, starvation, racism, sexism, collectivism, socialism, communism . . . and a slew of other isms.  We hate injustice and we choose not to flee from it but rather fight it with all of our might!

We look to our President to fight it for us, but he himself is wrought with injustice.  We look to Congress, but they are entrenched in wrongdoing.   We look to our religious leaders, but they too have occasion to walk in the counsel of the ungodly.  We look within ourselves but when we examine our hearts, we discover hatred, strife, envy, murder, backbiting, lying, stealing, cheating, selfishness, covetousness, pride . . .

How then do we attain justice?  Truth is, there is none righteous, and none just, but God.  And, because God is a God of justice, then we should seek God.  We should demand God to be everywhere where injustice is found, because as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. truthfully stated, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”  We should allow God in our government and in our hearts . . .

What does a government who has allowed God to lead look like? 

The Bible says that this government would “hold no penalty for those who do right, but for those who do wrong.”  Its courts would judge the people with righteousness and show no partiality.  It would not accept bribes because bribes pervert justice (Deut. 16).  It laws would protect the innocent by punishing evildoers and those who cause harm to others (Romans 13:1-5).  This government would serve the people instead of the people serving the government (Matt. 20:25-28).

What do our neighborhoods, our communities and our nation look like when we allow God to lead our lives? 

Because our hearts are deceitful, wicked, and corrupt, we would not be trusting in our own judgments (Jer. 17:9).   We would obey the Lord Jesus’ Christ’s instruction to love God and love our neighbor (Matt. 22:36-40) and demonstrate this love by learning to do good, seeking justice, encouraging the oppressed, defending the fatherless, pleading the case of the widow (Isa. 1:17).

We would pray for each other and our leaders so that we can live quiet and peaceable lives, and enjoy freedom (Tim. 2:1-2).  We would not seek revenge upon our fellow man when he wrongs us but allow room for God’s wrath (Rom. 12:19).  We would flee from prejudice and show no partiality towards our neighbor—rich or poor, black or white, or any other differentiating attribute that has been known to cause discord (Lev. 19:15).   We would show mercy and compassion (Prov. 25:22), for we too were shown mercy and compassion (Jn. 3:16).

If we all allowed God in our hearts . . .hatred, strife, envy, murder, backbiting, lying, stealing, cheating, selfishness, covetousness, and pride would have to flee.  The cause of injustice is our wicked and depraved hearts, and God is the cure.  If we let God in, we would finally see, experience, feel, and know what justice truly looks like.

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