As we enter 2019 we have new opportunity to advance God’s Kingdom of justice and righteousness. Here are 3 ways to administer TRUE justice in the year ahead.
1. Find the truth
I encourage you to read Isaiah 59. Isaiah was a prophet and the chapter is a blog post for today. Isaiah relays the problem with
“uttering lies our hearts have conceived. So justice is driven back, and righteousness stands at a distance; truth has stumbled in the streets, honesty cannot enter. Truth is nowhere to be found.” Isa. 59:13b-15a
Find truth. We have become experts at uttering lies our hearts have conceived. Whether foreign powers seeking to sew division or home grown actors pushing an agenda, truth has stumbled in the streets. The rising cost of education has led to a backlash in education. Reading is on the decline. The fourth estate in America – the press – is derided as Breitbart News is viewed the same as The New York Times. We have lost our capacity for discernment. Consequently honesty cannot enter and true justice is driven back.
Commit this year to checking sources. Don’t just blindly believe a post on Facebook. There is a distinct difference between investigative journalism and opinion propaganda. Dare to dig deeper.
Commit to reading a book a month. Read from different authors of color and background. Read different genres. Learn. The wisest people know that what they know is only a thimble full of the vast ocean of knowledge. This humility allows them to be quick to listen and slow to speak. Their opposite is the person of pride. “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” Prov. 16:18. Beware the haughty spirit.
2. Freedom in truth
Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Jn. 8:31b-32. He is the truth (Jn. 14:6). Holding to his teaching means being a disciple. That involves prayer and reading the Bible. The Bible is living, active truth. Discernment comes from hiding the word of God in our heart and prayerfully pursuing the commands of Scripture. Commands to love God and love neighbors. All neighbors.
One of the worst lies in our world is that some people are inherently better than others. White men with wealth and power are by nature the recipients of a better life because they are better. Those of lesser class and color are by nature inferior. This is a lie. We are all sinners (Rom. 3:23).
Don’t follow the example of the Pharisees who allowed truth to blind them and elevate them above others. Follow the example of Jesus who knowing all truth, humbly put others ahead of himself. Jesus had the highest privilege as the son of God. He willingly set it aside to enter our world to seek and to save the lost. Jesus had all the power but rather than use that power to judge, he used his power to heal. He rescued us from sin and restored us in community. He invites us to rescue and restore others.
Lawyers possess some of the greatest privilege and power in America. This year consider setting aside that privilege and use that power in the service of poor neighbors in need. Model Christ. The impact of legal ministry is significant as we free people from legal burdens so they can flourish. Visit our web site to get started.
Not a lawyer? We need many volunteer roles to serve the legal and spiritual needs of the poor. We also need support. Find your role in advancing God’s kingdom of justice and righteousness.
3. Fight for truth
We must not allow truth decay. The Bible’s second most prominent theme is justice for the poor and vulnerable. “This is what the Lord Almighty says, ‘Administer true justice, show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor.” Zec. 7:9-10.
It’s simple. “Stop doing wrong. Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.” Isa. 1:16b-17. We do that by standing up for those on the margins. Be a warrior for truth. Be a justice champion. Have the courage to speak up against lies. Have the courage to speak against falsehoods that paint others in a false light. We are all created in God’s image. He loves that person being vilified or demeaned. He died for them.
God works justice for the oppressed. That is his family business. Decide this year to enter the family business of justice and righteousness for the poor. Share the hope of the gospel along with the help of a lawyer to neighbors in need.
Our government is shut down because of pride. One man exerting power and others refusing to give an inch. Caught in this power struggle are mentally ill unable to receive care, employees unable to pay bills, farmers unable to get loans to plant crops, and many more average Americans losing money they can ill afford.
There is a common sense solution. Give some money for a wall and pass a clean Dream Act. Our young men and women brought to America through no choice of their own should not be treated as pawns. These individuals are well-vetted Americans who have proven themselves in school, work and the military. We should pass the Dream Act.
At the same time provide some funding for the wall. Most of the wall exist and adding to it is not a moral issue. There are many moral areas to challenge the President on and there are blatant factual errors on the numbers of people crossing the southern border and who they are. But borders are legitimate and there is no reason not to provide some funds if Dreamers can come out of the shadows and the government can open. Call your representatives and urge them to work for the common good.