A few years ago, I was interviewed for an article for WFU School of Law. I was asked what fueled my desire to be an attorney. I shared that I always wanted justice and fairness, even as a child. My most frequently uttered statement was, "that's not fair."
As an adult, this deep desire for justice is still a primary driving force in my life. Becuase my need for justice and fairness is so engrained in every aspect of my personality, it is often overwhelming to live in a world where injustice seems to prevail.
It is easy to become overwhelmed by the unfairness and injustice we see daily. How can you fight for justice in a world where children are physically and emotionally abused, people are still victims of human trafficking, and many people are forced to live in poverty? When I watch these events unfold, my heart screams for my idea of justice - I want the perpetrators of the crimes to be punished - there must be consequences. But what happens when the individuals who perpetrate these heinous crimes are not convicted, or they receive a minor punishment from our justice system?
One of the values of Project:Re3 is Biblical Justice. Our value states:
[Justice is not just] punishment for wrongdoing and oppression. It is also the restoration of wholeness, equality, and peace between people and with God.
When justice is discussed in the Bible, the focus seems to be the opposite of my focus. The Bible rarely talks about immediate consequences and punishment for perpetrators. Instead, the Bible commands us to:
Speak up for the people who have no voice, for the rights of the down-and-outers, speak out for justice! Stand up for the poor and destitute! Proverbs 31:8-9 (MSG).
Learn to do good. Work for justice. Help the down-and-out. Stand up for the
homeless. Go to bat for the defenseless. Isaiah 1:13-17 (MSG).
Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in your love.
Micah 6:8 (MSG).
I want justice - oceans of it. I want fairness- rivers of it. That's what I want. That's all
I want. Amos 5:24 (MSG).
Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption
from the godless world. James 1:27 (MSG).
The Bible doesn't promise that I will see immediate justice for the hurt and crimes heaped upon the innocent. God doesn't promise that there will be consequences for my family's pain and suffering.
Instead, God is clear in his command - my job is to work to bring justice to those that I meet in my day to day life. I am commanded to speak up for the oppressed, to help the orphan and the widow, and to be compassionate and love those around me. My duty is to keep working to show justice to the individuals I encounter, even if I cannot ultimately bring justice to them through our legal system.
God wants me to live a life that lights up the darkness and offers a glimmer of hope that someday justice will triumph in an unjust world.
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