Just, as I Am

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
Genesis 1:27 NKJV

Our desire for justice reflects the image of our Creator.

What is it about injustice—about seeing one person prosper at the expense of another or seeing certain people denied rights that are enjoyed by others—that strikes such a universal chord in the human heart? Chalk it up to our internal wiring.

In the creation story of Genesis, we find a remarkable statement: “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” (1:27).

The human race bears the likeness of the Creator. We possess, in finite form, many of his qualities. His priorities are wound into our DNA. Nowhere is this more evident than in our desire for justice.

Proverbs 11:1 says, “The LORD detests dishonest scales, but accurate weights find favor with him.” In Old Testament times, most commerce relied on weights and measures. People paid or traded goods based on volume or weight. Unscrupulous merchants found ways to rig their scales in order to extract more money from people, much to the Lord’s displeasure.

God detests—that is, he hates—any system that is rigged or unfairly designed to favor one group over another, whether it’s found in business, politics, the law or society in general. The existence of such systems offends his just nature.

“For I, the LORD, love justice; I hate robbery and wrongdoing” (Isaiah 61:8). “Wrongdoing” includes any form of injustice, including personal bias and discrimination. Those are the things that trigger God’s hatred—and should trigger ours.

When injustice stirs up feelings of righteous anger in us—when we’re driven to action by the sight of someone being excluded or singled out unfairly or by stories of institutional bias or the abuse of power—we are owning and embracing God’s likeness in our lives.

Prayer: Lord God, You have made all the peoples of the earth for Your Glory, to serve You in freedom and peace. Give to the leaders and people of our country a zeal for justice and the strength of forbearance, that we may use our liberty in accordance with Your gracious Will. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen!

What injustice in the world causes you anger? How might God’s justice have inspired you to evaluate your own attitudes and actions toward others? Join the conversation below!

 

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3 Comments

  • Peter says:

    Not a very popular subject but so accurate. I love that you directed the atprticle away from personal justice for the individual (justice for me) which is what many Christians are focused on. To many see the word as there personal self improvement plan. On justice I wonder how 400 years of slavery could be allowed to exist and be practiced with so many ‘giants of our faith’ around during that time and they would have known Gods character and study these and many other verses about justice. Byrd even some of them practiced slacery or at least did not openly fight against it. Even now the church has been selectively silent about injustice in community depending on which church you go to.

    My point is that the key temptation of Satan ‘you will be like God’ is where man fell and continues to fall. What Adam and Eve forgot is that they were already like God created in His image and likeness. Satan’s trick is that we would be awaken to using our God likeness outside of Gods control, guidance, or influence. And when that happened injustice begin to manifest in the earth with Adam’s “the woman made me do it” defense to God.

    So yes we are made in His image, but we need Him to reform, transform and create in us new hearts through the power of Christ sacrifice and the in dwelling of the Holy Spirit so that we are truly manifesting the quality and character of the creator in all that we do. Other wise our ‘desire for justice’ internal drive will be hijacked by our own prejudices and preferences and we will selectively apply it and believe we are being like God. Notice God punished them all: Satan, Adam and Eve.

  • Mark Besh says:

    Years ago, Bob Dylan recorded a song called “Gotta Serve Somebody.” His message was that no matter your station in life, no matter how independent, self-sufficient, or in-control you might try to be—or think you are—you will still ‘serve’ something or somebody.

    The word “serve” here is important. Webster’s first definition of it is “an act of helpful activity or unselfish aid”—very similar to the definition of “kindness.”

    Not surprisingly, kindness has been a ‘trait’ that great thinkers and writers have celebrated down the centuries. The Roman philosopher-emperor Marcus Aurelius declared, “Kindness is mankind’s greatest delight.”

So, it is not that real kindness requires people to be selfless, it is rather that real kindness changes people in the doing of it, often in unpredictable ways. Real kindness is an exchange with essentially unpredictable consequences. It is a risk precisely because it mingles our needs and desires with the needs and desires of others, in a way that so-called self-interest never can. Kindness is compassion in action.

    At Christmas God shed His ‘light’ on the world through His Son, Jesus. We can also shine that ‘light’ into some dark ‘corners’ to brighten up people’s lives and give them hope by SERVING them. That’s why Jesus said, “…let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven” [ Matthew 5:16 ].


    If one reads Matthew chapter 25, Jesus tells a parable that ‘looked’ into the future to the “day of reckoning”—where all people will be separated into two ‘sections’. The thing is, only one ‘side’ will be welcomed into the joy and glory of Heaven. Jesus said those will be the people who ‘walked their talk’—the ones who fed the hungry, gave water to the thirsty, welcomed the stranger, clothed the poor, tended to the sick, and ministered to the prisoner. Those turned away from Heaven will be those who, regardless of their verbal claims, ignored the hungry and thirsty, turned away from the stranger, the poor, the sick, and the imprisoned. Matthew 25 doesn’t catalogue all the ways that God’s people can live out their faith, but what it does describe is an active faith that visibly demonstrates the love so freely shared with them.

    Jesus also mentions that the unselfish acts of mercy and compassion we do that are done to those in need, He will consider them as having been done to Himself. Likewise, for those too preoccupied with their own lives to worry about someone else, it will turn out that they have ignored Jesus, not just the needy. This says that these acts of mercy were not done to curry favor or impress, but were a genuine response to human need that arose out of hearts overflowing with God’s love. They were not performed because one “had to” or “ought to,” but because they “wanted to.”

    So, we can see that God looks ‘favorably’ on these who serve unselfishly, and even more so of those who have chosen to serve others as a loving ‘servant’ of His!


All this to say that Dylan got it right, “Well it may be the devil and it may be the Lord, but you’re gonna have to serve somebody.” You can search the Bible from cover to cover and you won’t find any example of ‘spiritual neutrality’. We all have the option whether or not to CHOOSE God or not—and He wants us to SERVE OTHERS, especially the hungry, thirsty, poor, sick, and the ‘imprisoned’!

So, just one question for you: Since everybody is going to serve ‘somebody’ (even yourself) or ‘something’, who or what are you centering your life on today?

    Have you made your decision? “Who” will you serve?

    [ NOTE: There are many organizations that try to address social injustice. One of them is “Covenant World Relief” (http://www.covchurch.org/relief/), an organization that is part of the “Evangelical Covenant Church,” and has been responding to the needs of the world’s most vulnerable—the poor and marginalized suffering from extreme poverty, hunger, disease, and injustice—with humanitarian aid for the past 60 years ].

    Mark Besh
    LifesDeepThoughts.com
    [ Excerpts from the February 2012 post “Gotta Serve Somebody” ].

  • Patty Land says:

    I am very passionate when I see or hear of bulling. I myself has been billed in grade school, I am sure that is why zI can not stand by an watch a group or an individual bulling on someone smaller, younger etc. I have many times stepped in an stopped the what was happening.

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