How to Do Justice, Love Mercy, and Walk Humbly with God
- Jason Soroski jasonsoroski.wordpress.com
- 2021 9 Feb
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. - Micah 6:8
Justice. Mercy. Humility. When we hear the word ‘justice’, many of us think of the justice system: good guys, bad guys, crime, and punishment. How can a justice-minded person show mercy? How can a justice-minded person live in humility? How can a merciful person see to the fulfillment of justice? The answer comes from leaning fully into the wisdom of God, where we find perfect examples of all three traits.
Justice, mercy, and humility are deeply interconnected and represent foundational, basic tenets of the Christian life. We see them throughout the words and works of Jesus, yet they seem to be so very difficult to find in our culture today. As everything and everyone around us becomes more and more contentious, it is just more reason to dig deeper into how we can move from only talking about these things, to faithfully living them out. As Christians, we should be known as a people of justice, mercy, and humility.
What Does it Mean to Do Justice?
But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream! - Amos 5:24
To do Justice means to know and seek the justice and righteousness of God in our own lives and in the world around us. It is important to note that we are to do justice. It is not just a thought, but something that we act upon, living out justice not just in what we say but in what we do.
Our God is a God of justice. Every concept of what is right and what is wrong has been handed down by Him throughout the ages, even setting the foundation for every modern legal system. Psalm 89:14 is a prayer to God, acknowledging that “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you”. In this verse, we see ‘justice’ in the same sentence with ‘love.’
True justice is done in love and with a desire to honor and glorify God. We often hear that Christians are supposed to be loving and therefore should avoid saying what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ or judging others for their behavior. It is also true that sins such as legalism and haughtiness come from an abuse of justice. Yet the Bible teaches justice is done in the name of love and for the sake of healing our relationships with one another and with God. True Justice is living out the truth of Scripture, speaking truth to others. It is done in love and spoken through mercy and humility. God requires us to do justice not to place ourselves as superior to others, but to walk in love, sharing and living out the truth of the gospel.
What Does it Mean to Love Mercy?
To love mercy means to love the mercy we have been shown, and in exchange to love showing mercy to others in the same way.
Our God is both a God of justice and a God of mercy. We should all be thankful for His mercy, for without it we would be dead in our sin. God represents all that is just, yet He chooses to show us mercy and grace every day. The Bible clearly teaches in Romans 3:23 that we all have sinned and fall short of God’s glory. Not one of us deserves mercy, grace, or forgiveness. Before a just God, we all stand accused. Yet because of His mercy, we are not consumed, and His compassion never fails in any way (Lamentations 3:22-23). God, who is the author of justice, simultaneously chooses to show us mercy time and time again.
Justice and mercy go hand in hand when we go out of our way to give to others, to serve others, and to share forgiveness with those to ask. All of us are guilty before God, and only in Christ are we forgiven and found to be guiltless. We show mercy because mercy has been shown to us.
How Can Christians Walk Humbly with God?
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves – Philippians 2:3
We walk humbly with God when we acknowledge that He is just and that only through His mercy are we made whole. When we truly believe this, it flows out of our lives and into the lives of others. As with justice, humility is an action. We are to walk with Christ in humility, not running ahead, not standing still,
Humility is perhaps one of the hardest things for us to show. We live in a world that glorifies the strongest, the smartest, and the best. Humility, therefore, runs counter to everything we are taught to hold meaning. Yet Jesus gives the exact opposite example. The apostle Paul reminds us in Philippians 2:7-8 that Jesus displayed the ultimate act of humility in that, “he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!”
Recorded in Matthew 20:25-26, Jesus taught that if anyone wants to be great, they must do the opposite of what the world calls greatness. We are not to seek power or glory for ourselves but become the servant of others. A few verses later, He reminded His disciples that He himself came not to be served, but to serve.
Why Does the Lord Require These Things in Micah 6:8?
These things are required of us because added together they keep our hearts balanced, focused, and centered on godly things. When we lean too far into any one of these things, we fall into a trap: justice without mercy leads to cruelty, mercy without justice leads to vulnerability, and humility without confidence in God’s justice and love for God’s mercy leads to fear and lack of self-worth.
Yet when these three are in perfect biblical balance as laid out in Micah 6:8, we find ourselves becoming imitators of Christ, who was filled with grace and truth and placed the needs of others above His own. In a troubled world, we have the opportunity to bring peace by speaking and living out true justice in our words and actions, showing and giving thanks for His mercy, and by living in humility before God and others.
Photo credit: ©GettyImages/Javier_Art_Photography
Jason Soroski is a homeschool dad and member of the worship team at matthias lot church in St. Charles, MO. He spends his free time hanging out with his family, exploring new places, and writing about the experiences. Connect on Facebook or at JasonSoroski.net.
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