FROM THE PULPIT: Do justice, love kindness and walk humbly, Part 1
Micah 6:8 states, “He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (New Revised Standard Version)
These are three aspects of living that the Lord requires of us. I wonder how well we do with them on a daily basis.
Do justice. Some people believe that doing justice is getting even with someone who has wronged them. Somehow they believe retribution is settling the score, the “eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” syndrome.
That is not justice. That is revenge. That is attempting to make the perpetrator of an incident hurt as much as you were made to hurt.
What is justice? Doing the right thing or seeking the right thing for those who have been wronged. Seeking justice is an act of love. It is striving to bring to an end an unfairness or an inequality of one person or group of persons over another.
Some may think that inequality is necessary or even justified. But is that what God thinks? Is that what God sees as right and good? That is not how I read the scriptures.
Prejudice has no place in our lives. That is not how or why God created us. Every person is God’s child and worthy of the respect to be treated as such.
This is why God continuously needs to remind us that we are each a person in our own right, but so is everyone else. When we see a person or group of persons being abused or taken advantage of, we are to say something. Better yet, we are to do something to stand up for them.
We are called to not be myopic and focus only on ourselves. Our eyes are to be open all the time for how we might be called by God to help those in distress.
Some may wonder why we are to do this. The writer of Deuteronomy spells it out quite plainly: “So now, O Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you? Only to (revere) the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of the Lord your God and his decrees that I am commanding you today, for your own well-being.” (Deuteronomy 10:12-13 NRSV)
So, Gentle Reader, live in such a way that gives honor to God. Do justice.
But that is not all. My next column will take a look at the second requirement: Love kindness.
The Rev. Mark Broadhead is pastor at Laurel Hill Presbyterian Church and First Presbyterian Church of Crestview.