Session 3 – Justice in our daily walk.
On day 2, we talked about Justice and Grace being wrapped up together. What does that look like in our lives, though? How does Justice and Grace flow together in our interactions with those around us?
Understanding that the two can’t be neatly separated helps us to identify incongruence in our faith walk- when things don’t quite line up in the way we live and the beliefs we hold firmly too.
We cannot have Justice without Grace. It’s the basic principle of no Law without Gospel, no Gospel without Law.
What is incongruence?
When we want the God of Love, but don’t want Him to judge our choices. We live a life of “whatever, God loves me anyway!” And ignore that God hates sinful and destructive behavior that separates us from Him.
When we live believing that every affliction and struggle is God punishing us. That God rains down Justice when we’re bad, and Love and Grace when we’re good.
When we try to live a life “right” and “perfect” with God, so that we can have control of our life and our plans will prevail.
When we create a picture of justice that fits what we want, ignoring what God may want.
Romans seems to have a lot about Justice! Let’s turn to Romans 12 for help on Justice/Grace living:
“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
Verse 19 sums up Justice/Grace living perfectly.
“On the contrary.”
1) It will not look like the rest of the world. It will not look “normal.” So often when the world screams for justice, what they really want is vengeance, and our God tells us to leave it. To let the God of the universe work in His perfect Justice and Mercy and take care of the problem. Pray about it, girls. In prayer, God hears our cries. He acknowledges our struggle and we can trust in Him to act.
2) It will almost always look contrary to what the world tells us to do. Trust the advice of people who read the Bible with you and share in the connected discussion of life around the Word. Do not trust the advice of the news media or Joe-Schmo at work who tells you to repay evil for evil. When evil pushes itself into your life- respond with Love, respond with Grace, respond “on the contrary.”
Beloved, the Spirit is strong and able. He lives in us and acts in us to enable the impossible – Justice and Grace poured out together on a hurting world.
Father, thank you for your perfect Justice and perfect Love. You give us Hope when the world is crashing down. You will make everything right. We trust you, Lord. Help us when we struggle to trust. In Jesus precious name. Amen.