In Micah 6:8, God lays it out there plainly: Justice is good, and God requires justice of His people. “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”
On the path to justice, there are pitfalls for the Christian. Callousness blinds; compromise damages; divisiveness plagues; arrogance crushes. And when we hear the call of justice, we cannot leave behind our inner cultivation work: the work of listening to the Holy Spirit, of yielding to the unchanging love of God, and of letting Christ-like humility make us kind.
But while we must avoid sin-filled pitfalls and remain steadfast in our spiritual lives, we cannot let the cares of this world plug our ears to the voice of justice. Proverbs pictures wisdom as a woman, crying out in the streets to anyone who would listen. Justice, too, has a voice. She often speaks through the mouths of the vulnerable, the oppressed, the almost-destroyed.
Often, we must strain to hear these voices. We must stop to understand their words and ponder awhile. But once we have heard justice calling our name, once we have felt the feeble hand reach out to grasp our own, we cannot – we must not – walk away by the side of the road, pretending, as the priest and Levite did, that we did not see.
The Good Samaritan was a master of kindness, true. Yet he was also a picture of Biblical justice: he helped to restore what was taken from an innocent, broken man. He “righted” a wrong, and brought the situation into a place that more closely resembled God’s original design.
One of the calls on the Christian life is to DO justice. Not to see justice merely as an attribute, an idea, or a philosophy, but to fully embrace the fact that justice must be seen on this earth through the activities of Christ followers. There are practical ways to engage our world in the fight for justice, and, as Christians, it’s up to us to find the most effective justice ideas and to implement them now.
The longer we wait, once we’ve heard justice calling our name, the more injustice devastates. It’s not as if the oppressors take a break while we collect our thoughts or get up the courage to act. They’ll keep on going until we’ve decided to peacefully, but stubbornly, invade.
And that’s what this world needs from Christians: an invasion of justice. A revolution of righteousness. A battle of love, where the fearful are turned to bravery and the weak are made strong in the God Who created each one.
In my book, Do Justice: Practical Ways to Engage Our World, I had the privilege of interviewing fellow Christians who are visionaries in the justice world. Elizabeth Yore, international child advocate, attorney, and anti-human trafficking expert, told me: “My children inspired me to get involved in the work of child protection. Their courage, honesty, and innocence opened my eyes and heart to understand that the dignity of the child is the most important tenet of a civilized society.”
The voices – and faces – of justice are there, right in front of us. But we have to slough off the scales, take out the earplugs, and learn.
Reggie Littlejohn, founder of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, dropped a high-powered, high-salaried career to heed the call of God for justice. Her organization works in China to end female gender-cide and provide practical help to parents of girls. Reggie told me, “Jesus said to love your neighbor as yourself. And who are our neighbors in the twenty-first century? Our neighbors, I would say, are every single person that we know about, especially since you can now touch people on the other side of the world.”
Psalm 89:14 reminds us that justice is one of the very foundations of God’s throne. If we are to truly serve our King in a world gone mad, we must be about the action. We must strategize, organize, and mobilize to DO justice today.
Kristi Burton Brown is an attorney, a millennial, and the author of "Do Justice: Practical Ways to Engage Our World." She strongly believes in giving a voice to those who have none and also enjoys cooking on demand.