Justice​

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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[a] with your God. Micah 6:8
I was on a Women’s retreat recently and this was our scripture for the weekend. We tore this apart and dissected it and studied it. It was a really good study. 
How many times have we heard people say all they want is justice? Justice is described as fairness, righteousness, fair dealing, honesty and integrity. We were discussing this at the table I was sitting at. We were to decide what justice looks like and how obtain justice. Our table came up with a simple, yet complex answer. The simple answer is this: if you want justice then you need to act justly. We decided justice is not something you seek, but something you do. We decided justice has to begin with each of us and then move out into the world around us. That’s where the complex answer comes in. 
We often want something, but we don’t necessary want to give something up to get it. We want to receive something without giving something in return. We want people to be fair with us. We want people who will be honest with us, but are we that way in return? In order to receive fairness, in order to have people be honest with us we need to be fair to others and be honest with them. It goes back to the rule we all grew up with, “treat others the way you want to be treated.” I think in this day and age we have forgotten that. Our rule has become, “I want others to treat me fair, and be honest with me, without me being the same way.” We are good about saying what we want, but we aren’t always good at doing. 
What would this world be like if we did justice instead of just wanting justice? If we want something we need to be willing to work at it and get it. As we were headed to the lunch room a coach who was at the same camp with his students stopped us. He said to us, “Good morning ladies. You are studying justice aren’t you? So what are you learning? My quick response was, “it’s something you do not something you seek.” His reply was something like, “that’s good.”
As I was thinking about this I was thinking you could take this concept and apply it in other ways. For example, if all you want is love, then you must be willing to love. If you want others to love you unconditionally then you must love others unconditionally. 
Instead of seeking something like love or kindness, or justice we need to make it a verb and start doing it. In case you have forgotten a verb is the part of speech that describes an action or indicates a state of being (from Bing). Instead of seeking these things in others we need to first seek it in our own lives. Just like a song says, let it begin with me. If we begin to show justice, kindness, or love to those around us it will begin to spread to others. That’s how we begin to change the world. Not by changing others, or changing laws but by changing ourselves and doing those very things we seek. 
In this same text God calls us to show mercy. When we mess up we want others to show compassion on us. We want them to be lenient. But again, are we willing to be compassionate or lenient when others mess up? Or are we the first ones screaming for punishment? We want others to forgive us, but how forgiving are we? Once again it goes back to being. We are to be merciful. We are to forgive others and show compassion when compassion is needed. Christ showed His compassion towards us as He went to the cross and died for our sins. If He was willing to do this for us then shouldn’t we do this toward others? 
Finally, we are to walk humbly. I really like what The Message says, “But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do, what GOD is looking for in men and women. It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in your love, And don’t take yourself too seriously— take God seriously.”  Don’t take yourself too seriously….take God seriously. It’s not all about you; it’s all about God and what He has done through you. We all know people in our lives who think everything revolves around them. It’s all about them and what they did, and what they can do and who they know. Do you enjoy being around these folks? Of course not; we need to be careful we don’t become like them. Just like the Pharisees we can make it all about ourselves if we aren’t careful. 
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[a] with your God. Micah 6:8
So what do you have trouble with? Justice? Mercy? Being humble? Whatever it is you seek find yourself doing. It is often in doing something we find the very thing we want. When we begin to do justice, to show mercy and to walk humbly then the ripple effects kick in and you will begin to see others do it in return. Justice is not something we seek; it’s something we do. 
Dear Gracious God: Teach me to show justice when I need to show justice. Teach me what it is to be just. Help me to not just show mercy to others, but to love mercy; to want to do mercy. Finally, dear Lord help me to remember not to take myself so seriously, but to take God seriously. It’s not all about me; it’s all about you. Thank you for showing me mercy. Thank you for loving me. Amen
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