It seems I repeat this subject on a regular basis on my blog. It has just been such a transformative thing in my life in all my dealings with people. It seems to touch everything. Let it sink in.
We are living in a day that seems we are surrounded by harshness at every turn. We humans have created a rather tough, brutal environment to live. The question for me after many life changing events, including this quote on JUSTICE, seems to have become; WHAT WILL GIVE?
Exploitation rules the existence of humans. We all must face the fact we play some kind of role in it. When "winning" or at least "being successful" as the world defines it becomes the "prize", everyone loses when it comes to Justice. Stick with me here because I believe we need our understanding of justice re-worked if we are to be a people of grace and forgiveness. If not we will continue to be a people lacking grace, that ends up trusting in law more and more that then just leads to more exploitation.
For the world that runs in fear I can understand that. Fear drives many to exploit others in an attempt to gain that which might deliver a sense of security. The only problem is, exploiting others only leave us more vulnerable and insecure.
For those who proclaim to be following Jesus, running in fear just doesn't make sense? For those who are truly following, Jesus is the power to free us from fear because he is able to ground us in God's love which in turn leads us to trusting him. This is the only place security is found. Some trust in chariots and the sword.....some in other forms of power....some in money......some in law.....some in the things they possess....some in intellect so as to feel superior.....and all of these people are left living and running in fear.
Excepting grace and than learning to extend grace will only happen when we are delivered from fear. Self-preservation is a sign that the cross of Jesus has not been embraced. Self-preservation is absolutely antithetical to the cross of Jesus. Without that which can only be accomplished through the cross we are left trusting in what the world sees as PUNITIVE JUSTICE and then humans must set themselves up as Supreme Justice to administer it. FOR THOSE WHO SEE THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY AND ONLY IN PART....this becomes nothing but dangerous and foolish. Not only does the New Testament scripture tell us this, all of history tells us this.
For those that go this way, there is only one conclusion. They don't trust God and they are not people of grace....mercy.....and forgiveness.
I ran across this quote on Tim Neufeld's blog back last summer.
"Martens did a masterful job of defining the Hebrew word for justice, mishpat. In western society we have come to understand justice as something we receive (I am a victim, I demand justice) or we dispense (he was convicted and justice was served). But mishpat could best be defined as "honorable relations." Justice is something that we do in relationship with others. It is active not passive. The goal is shalom -- not merely the absence of conflict, but the presence of harmony in relationships. What might a country look like if it practiced this kind of justice?"