Day 21 - Issue 34

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Proverbs 29:1-2 NLT

'Whoever stubbornly refuses to accept criticism will suddenly be destroyed beyond recovery. When the godly are in authority, the people rejoice. But when the wicked are in power, they groan.'

The word ‘justice’ is often quoted across the media. Single issue causes attract a strong following and generate large income streams. Yet, at times it’s difficult to discover if the world in which we live is any more just than it was 60 years ago. The word isn’t limited to our legal system; it conjures up ideas of fairness, equality, honesty and integrity.

We all love the idea of justice, yet the price demanded of us is often too high to ensure we turn our aspirations into anything enduring. I was recently talking to someone who manages an asylum centre. He believes slavery within Britain is growing, operating in plain sight. We may speak of Wilberforce and the movement that stopped the transatlantic slave trade, but slavery hasn’t ended.

Our desire for justice proves elusive in implementation. Part of the problem is we don’t agree on what a just society might look like. It will take a massive collaborative conversation followed by some heavy lifting to determine, then deliver, a just society. However, we only need to look towards God. Christianity invites people to love God and their neighbour to the degree they love themselves. There are some challenges here, for we need to establish what sort of God we will follow. I’m all for one who came in search of us, out of a desire to remove division and create the opportunity for fairness. I can also see the benefit of putting other people’s interests alongside, or above my own; a great way to slay the dragon of selfishness.

God’s way is simple, and there are two principles that, when practised, transform the way we relate to each other. Firstly, as God pointed out to Cain, we are our “brother’s keeper” (Genesis 4:9). And secondly, God invites us to live with his way always in view. One consequence will be that our happiness improves.

Take time to love God and care for your neighbours.

QUESTION: How might you build some snapshots of justice in action?

PRAYER: When unjust attitudes stir my heart, Lord, may I own them and turn from them.

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