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

 

Justice is something that most of us cry out for. When things don’t go our way, whether in the smaller issues of fair play in a crowded parking lot or in the bigger concerns about treatment by an employer or in a court of law, we ask God to bring about a fair and a just answer for us. I am not all that convinced, however, that justice is actually what I want to receive on most of these occasions. Justice means that I will get exactly what I deserve. When it is God’s justice that I am seeking, what I deserve is not something that I would probably find to be very pleasant. You see, this is a characteristic that derives from the very core of who God is, and it helps to define the active and operative qualities of righteousness. On a day in and day out basis Godly righteousness is a very high standard for me to meet.

 

Yet, Christ calls to me and to everyone to follow Him. He wants us to walk in the same steps that He takes and to react to our world in the same way that He has reacted to it from its creation. He also assures me that there is nothing that He will ask of me or anyplace that He will take me that He does not equip me to handle and where He will not walk with me. As I seek to know Christ deeply, His character becomes more fully my own. When I choose to follow where He is leading, I walk along an adventurous path of discovery that takes me continually further into freedom from the oppression of sin in my life, and this path is also one along which Christ reveals the need for justice in the lives of others in this world.

 

If I am to follow justice alone, that means that I am committing to focus all of my attention on Christ. It means that I am willing to actively work to see to it that righteousness and fairness are applied to all people and to each situation that I encounter. I must desire to live in a manner that demonstrates a willingness to sacrifice my own comfort, gain, and security for the sake of the just treatment of others. It also means that I need to be open and vulnerable before Christ and His community so that my naturally self-centered sinfulness will not pervert my own interpretation of justice. Following justice is a life-long pursuit. However, the pursuit of justice is an essential part of walking through this life in the center of Christ’s will.