Justice, and only justice, you shall follow, that you may live and inherit the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

Deuteronomy 16: 20

 

Certainly we all want and seek after justice. Why would it be any other way? Justice is what makes this world seem fair, and it is what allows us to trust in our social systems. Yet, what passes for justice in our culture is often perverted, held back, or completely absent from the scene. Considering that Moses is warning the nation of Israel about God’s concerns regarding their application of justice, it would seem that the problem of actually living as a just society is not such a modern issue. The desire to receive just treatment is fundamental to human endeavor. Likewise, our reluctance to grant it to others runs deeply in our fallen hearts.

 

Justice is the last thing that Satan wants for us to honestly embrace. He is served by people who hold a distorted and a perverted view of what it means to live justly. God’s view of justice involves a system where our treatment of others can not be bought or sold. There should be no price that can be paid in order to receive proper treatment from people that have position, power, and authority. Also, there are no people who are so empowered and authorized who will change their ruling or alter their perspective based upon another’s ability or willingness to pay. Justice, as God views it, requires us to be willing to do all that is in our power to see to it that everyone is treated with dignity, respect, and in a manner that seeks to build up both the individual and the society.

 

The application of justice involves sacrifice. We need to give away opportunities to gain status and power in order to treat others in this manner. Living in a just land is often a dirty and a messy business. The people that we need to engage with in order to bring it about are quite often the poor, the disadvantaged, and the lost. They can be people who are easy to pass by, and frequently they are the ones that we desire with all of our hearts to ignore in the hopes that they won’t speak to us. These people are the ones that the brokenness of sin has marked as easy targets. These are the members of society that Jesus walked up to and embraced with the warmth and the compassion of the Father. These people are you and I in any number of possible circumstances. These disadvantaged and damaged souls are equally made in God’s image. They are our neighbors, and they are our brothers and sisters.

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Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.

Colossians 3: 12

 

Almost every day of the year I get up in the morning and soon after that I need to select the clothing that I am going to wear that day. Here is my basic check list to use in reaching a dressing decision; there is the primary activity of the day, the weather, who I am trying to impress and how, what I might be doing after work, what is clean, and how much ironing it will require. By now, I have this getting dressed thing fairly well figured out. Well, occasionally I put a sock on inside out or miss align the buttons, but I usually catch these small issues before long.

 

The clothing that I wear can seem to be a really big deal, and it helps establish a confident and ready mind set for my day. However, when I consider things that really matter, clothing is inconsequential. It is necessary, mind you, but not of any actual, life impacting, and eternal importance. What does matter is what I choose to put on when I look into the closet of my heart. That is where the truly elegant and impactful wardrobe is stored. As a child of the Living God, His Spirit is alive in me, and He creates in me a new nature that is the true reflection of God, Himself. Unfortunately, the new me doesn’t always take over my functional life, for I get in the way. I keep going back to the old section of my closet, to all of those familiar items of thought and beliefs about life that take me back into selfishness, fear, doubt, anger, and frustration. So I engage my day in the worst possible frame of heart and mind. Then I am a redeemed being living like I have never encountered Christ. I am conflicted and appear hypocritical to the very people that I seek to love, and this is very discouraging and truly frustrating.

 

Yet, as it so often is in God’s way of dealing with us, He provides very complex things with simple answers. I need to go back to this activity that I have done thousands of times in my life, for by selecting the right spiritual wardrobe to start my day, I am taking the first and the most important step in living successfully throughout this day. Christ has already given me a complete closet makeover; it is up to me to use it. Christ wants me to come to Him. He allows me to talk to my Lord, listen to His words of loving guidance, and put on the exquisite words of truth that He has carefully displayed before my eyes. Then, I can engage my day with the confident and loving heart of Christ as my own true identity.