How can we live out justice? This is a question that reverberates in the echoes of my heart and mind. What does living out justice look like? How can we as communities live it out in our day to day lives?
Justice feels like a big word. Maybe because it is a big idea. Justice can strike different feelings in different people and because of this can seem ambiguous or hard to pin down. So we turn to good old Webster where justice is defined as;
“a concern for justice, peace, and genuine respect for people”
As I roll this idea of justice around in my mind and think about how I as an individual and us as a community can live it out and allow peace and respect for people to characterize us I am starting to see justice as a journey, not a destination. Justice as something to be pursued, a pursuit like any good adventure that changes me from the inside out.
Adventure is unknown.
Adventure is uncomfortable.
Adventure is refining.
Adventure is risky.
Adventure is worth it.
Helen Keller said it well;
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”
Life is an adventure and justice is a pursuit, something worth chasing down, thinking about and allowing to refine us and challenge us. I am being refined by justice. Some days it is painful, most days it is uncomfortable but I like the person that the pursuit of justice is molding me to become.
Justice isn’t attainable in all its fullness here on earth. We won’t ever fully grasp justice. Those who think they have will stop its refining work in their lives. Can anybody be completely just, all the time? No, no human person anyway.
God is completely just. He is perfectly concerned with peace and that people are respected. We are made in His image, he created us to reflect him. We are his representatives in the world, those who know him. It is like he said, “I want the people I created to know me so I will send my Son, give them My very Word and put my Spirit in them so that they can be revealers of me to each other.”
I like that. The idea that God is with us and he touches us by reaching out through others. That he speaks through you to me. That we are reminders of his word, his faithfulness, his promises.
How can we live out justice? By searching out the heart of our Just Creator and committing to allow his peace to rule in us, to go to him and allow his perfect love to spill out of us, to see with his eyes and respect others for their worth in being made in his very image.
There are tangible ways this will be lived out, yes. But this is the common starting place. Choosing that justice is worth pursuing and choosing to pursue justice by pursuing the Just God. These pursuits, these journeys are tandem adventures that will change us into people that reflect our God in beautiful ways.
Justice is a journey. Sometimes it is one step forward, two steps back. An adventure doesn’t require perfection, living out justice is choosing every day to in humility, try again.
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