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.
Popular posts from this blog
October 25, 2017by Beth Mabe Gianopulos Category: Devotion Then Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go back, each of you, to your mother’s home. May the Lord show you kindness, as you have shown kindness to your dead husbands and to me. May the Lord grant that each of you will find rest in the home of another husband.” Then she kissed them goodbye and they wept aloud and said to her, “We will go back with you to your people.” But Naomi said, “Return home, my daughters. Why would you come with me? Am I going to have any more sons, who could become your husbands? Return home, my daughters; I am too old to have another husband. Even if I thought there was still hope for me—even if I had a husband tonight and then gave birth to sons— would you wait until they grew up? Would you remain unmarried for them? No, my daughters. It is more bitter for me than for you, because the Lord’s hand has turned against me!” Ruth 1:8-13 NIV Naomi is a woman that is filled with loss and grief. She has l…
October 26, 2017by Beth Mabe Gianopulos Category: Devotion So the two women went on until they came to Bethlehem. When they arrived in Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred because of them, and the women exclaimed, “Can this be Naomi?” “Don’t call me Naomi,” she told them. “Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The Lord has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.” Ruth 1:19-21 NIV When Naomi returned to Bethlehem, people were surprised to see her because she had been away so long. When people greeted her by name, Naomi replied that they should not call her Naomi. Instead, she told them to call her Mara because God had made her life very bitter. She had once been full, but now she was empty. Naomi’s pain was raw and her emotions were deep. In that moment, Naomi no longer knew who she was. She knew that she had once been Naomi – a woman blessed with a family. Now, she…
March 21, 2018by Beth Mabe Gianopulos Category: Devotion “After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God.“The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen.“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him.” Mark 1:14-18 NIV When I was a teenager, I read this passage in awe. I could not comprehend why the disciples would just walk away from everything they knew to follow Jesus. Of course I understood that Jesus was the Son of God, but when I read the passage literally, it sounded like Jesus just walked up to Simon and Andrew and said, “Hi. Nice to meet you. I am the Savior of the World. Follow me.” I couldn’t understand walking away from the life that I knew because I still thought that I was in …