Micah 6:8 – He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God (NIV).
Micah 6:8. A verse we’ve heard countless times. Sang in songs. Maybe even claimed as our life verse.
Micah 6:8. A simple verse. And a verse that carries some serious weight and responsibility.
This year, Micah 6:8 is going to be the theme for our Women’s Ministry at Faith E. With our new adventure in the blog world, it only made sense to start with an exploration of this verse and its application. With a humbled heart, here we go…
There are three commands with Micah 6:8, each of which we will explore here on the blog. So, that leaves us at the starting place…Justice.
To act justly. To seek justice.
To be honest, this isn’t the post I wanted to start with. Not because I don’t wholeheartedly believe in it or think it’s a terrible place to start, but because of the weighty obligation of seeking justice…and what that means for me in my day to day life.
Younger Kelly, more optimistic and idealistic and free-from-major-life-responsibilities Kelly LOVED this verse (I still do!). I always thought I would be one of those actively pursuing justice – working hard to be in His hands and feet, working overseas, seeing the least of these get their justice.
….And then “real” life set in. I graduated college, got married and was saddled with student loans. I settled down. Got a big girl job. Had babies. Lost sight of justice in the middle of daycare runs and bills to pay, messes to clean and a marriage to sustain.
Where did justice go? Where did that passion for justice of younger Kelly go?
How can I actively pursue justice when I am in the thick of working motherhood?
How can any of us seek justice when we aren’t in courtroom, in the trenches or overseas? What can we do in the day to day?
What does justice look like in the everyday mundane?
Before exploring the answers to those questions, I think it’s important to understand what justice really means.
Justice/ˈjəstəs/noun: just behavior or treatment. Quality of being fair and reasonable. A concern for peace and genuine respect for people.
Okay, cool. Thanks, Webster’s Dictionary.
Another perspective to consider that I find incredibly powerful is from Thomas Aquinas. According to Aquinas, at the heart of justice is a relationship.
Two people…with goods and/or services that at least one of them needs thrown in the mix.
Justice, then, becomes whether or not the person who has the goods and services is related to the person in need in such a way that the beholder could/ought fill the need. Following me?
To put it simply, Aquinas says if there is someone in need and there is someone who has the means to fill it, justice demands it’s filled.
Great. Simple enough. See a need, fill the need.
However, what makes seeking justice so hard for me is that I don’t always follow through with filling the need.
I am not so great at even seeing the need in the first place.
It becomes all too easy for me to adequate justice with simply having rights and righting wrongs, whether that is through the legal system or by some other means…Leaving the hard work of justice to those who are in the trenches. Those overseas. Those on the steps in D.C. The needs are too big, my abilities and resources too small…so somehow, that “lets me off the hook”.
My warped perspective (unintentionally) becomes all or nothing. Either I am doing the big justice thing or not. It becomes what they do and what I admire from afar.
What this mindset fails to remember is GOD MOVES REGARDLESS. Regardless if it is big or small. Regardless if it is actively saving those who have been trafficked or financially supporting from afar. Regardless if it is using my voice in a courtroom to defend or using my voice to educate those around me. It doesn’t matter. God moves regardless.
GOD MOVES. He wants my obedience…and He does the rest.
So, what does this look like? What does pursuing justice look like when I have a full-time job and babies to raise?
While this is by no means an exhaustive list, here are some things to consider, things I am currently and imperfectly putting into practice.
- Pray, pray, pray – for those who are doing the “big” acts of justice. For their safety, for His will to be done. For open eyes to see the injustices around me that I can do something about. For the strength to obey when called. For the whole world to get justice and peace.
- Vote – Learn about initiatives and support candidates who are working towards justice. Use my voice to uplift, rather than condemn.
- Consider how I spend my money – Shop fair trade…or not shop at all. Become educated on issues like fair trade, sustainability, and fast fashion. Always remember my dollar reveals my heart.
- Think globally – Justice isn’t just a person issue. It’s an environmental one too. How am I stewarding my resources and place on this earth to sustain and protect its God-breathed beauty in a way that others can continue enjoy it? Maybe this means composting, recycling, or simply using less. Maybe it means using that refillable water bottle and remembering our resources are limited and fighting to protect them.
- Get proximate – Get closer to situations where injustices reign. Learn about the issues. Get uncomfortable. Befriend and love. It’s hard to ignore issues when they are your neighbor, when injustice’s cruelness is staring you down in the face.
Justice. Never easy. Always worth it. To serve a need is to serve Christ.
I don’t know about you, dear friends, but seeking justice is something I can no longer ignore.
My faith demands it. The world craves it. He longs to see me play my part in it.
Before I go, one final thought to consider. While I don’t want to steal too much thunder from a blog post to come, I have to point out that Micah 6:8 didn’t start and end with seeking justice and loving mercy. There’s a final command. The most fundamental and central to the other two.
Walk humbly with your God.
Want to seek justice? Walk humbly with your God.
Because when you are walking humbly with Him, you start to see the world with His eyes, His heart. When you are walking humbly with Him, you are dethroned off the central throne of your life and you start thinking of yourself less. When you are walking humbly with Him, He puts you in situations where you can be His hands, His feet, His heart. When you are walking humbly with Him, you can be justice.
Seek justice. Love mercy. Walk humbly.
Humbly learning with you as I go,