Do Justice, Love Kindness, Walk Humbly with Your God
I was reading selected scriptures from Micah this morning for my devotion time. In Micah 6:6-8, the prophet is asking about what the Lord requires from us. Micah asks if he should bow himself before God, or if he should bring burnt offerings, or give the fruit of his body for the sin of his soul. He concludes in verse 8, “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? (ESV).”
As I think about being a disciple and follower of The Way, I think about this scripture. It calls me to think about the areas of my life which need justice, the challenge to love kindness or give steadfast love, and the opportunity to walk humbly with God.
What does it mean to do justice? Sometimes as I am driving home, or riding the train home I see many homeless people asking for money. People will stand on the streets, and walk into traffic to ask for money. I once volunteered at the Bridge Project downtown, and the manager of the program told us never to give money to the homeless, because there are many programs which provide three meals a day, housing opportunities, and other help to get jobs and resources. I ask myself why people want to be homeless, or what happens in their life to make them live in the homeless world. Are there societal structures of injustice? Are there unequal opportunities for certain types of people? Do we privilege certain people over others? As Christians, we are called to do justice. What does this mean to us? How can we help bring justice to our communities and world? Justice is a powerful message. What about racial and gender justice? Is the Church at the front of the line promoting diversity and racial equality? Is the Church preaching the same message Paul preached, there is neither Jew nor Greek, neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28). We need justice.
What does it mean to love kindness? I am not always a kind person. I want to be kind and loving to everyone, but there are times when I am short with people and do not love them the way I should. Part of my calling as a Christian leader is to love kindness. I should be kind to those around me. I should be considerate and should think about the needs of others. I should have steadfast love for people. Steadfast love is the kind of love which looks over sin, and gives mercy. Steadfast love is the kind of love which loves those who are hard to love. Steadfast love is taking the extra step to help someone, without any reward or personal gain. Part of this steadfast love in relationship to women in leadership, is loving and being patient with those who may not yet agree with equality. Steadfast loves helps us to create a space for grace, and to continue to work together even when we do not yet agree. We should always be striving for unity, peace, love, patience, and forgiveness.
And thirdly, what does it mean to walk humbly with our God? Each day we have the opportunity to walk with our God. The humble part is following to step and lead of God. Sometimes we want to step first. Sometimes we want to move forward, and run the race. There are times the Spirit will say wait, and times when the Spirit will say walk. We have to learn how to be sensitive to the voice of God. The voice may not always be loud and affirming. The voice might at times be still and quiet. How is your walk with the Almighty? Are you walking humbly? Are you following the Holy Spirit? Are you trusting? It is difficult at times to trust as we walk in what we think is a dark room, but God is going before us with the light, and one day we will look back and see how the plan has unfolded. God knows best. We should follow the One, the God who is justice, is steadfast love, and wants to walk with us each day.
Copyright 2014 Crystal Schmalz