How to discern your role as justice advocate

There is a huge list of important justice issues, from climate change, racial injustice, poverty, gender inequality, class issues and more. How are we supposed to work out our role in all of this? If I choose just one, am I saying the others aren’t important? 

It can be easy to choose instead to sit and watch Netflix and pretend the outside world doesn’t exist. As scrolling through social media or the news can make you feel bombarded by the atrocities in the world. Hopelessness can rise, making you wonder if you can make a difference as just one person?  

If you have ever felt like that, you are not alone. Let’s explore more about justice and the roles each of us play in it.

Why care about justice?

1. ‘For the Lord is a God of justice.’ – Isaiah 30:18

We serve a just God, and we should seek to honour that in our lives. This verse follows a recount of Israel’s poor actions, yet God still promises to be gracious and show compassion to them! There is no place where God doesn’t seek justice.

2. ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’ – Mark 22:39

Loving our neighbour isn’t just about our physical neighbours. It’s also about our global neighbours. We need to be seeking to love them too. 

3. ‘Fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.’ – Genesis 1:28

God’s call to rule over every living creature does not imply authoritarian dictatorship, where humans benefit themselves by ignoring the negative consequences. The word for ‘rules’ comes from the Hebrew word ‘radah’, which has royal connotations, similar to a King or Queen’s rule. 

God calls us to be Godly rulers over His creation and to treat it as He would, with honour and justice.

What’s your role?

We’re all called to be part of justice, but how do you discern what that specific issue is? There is no one right way to go about this, but three things helped me. 

  1. Learn 

Spend some time researching different justice issues. Explore what’s going on globally and in your local area. Find out the root causes. Research helps you be a better ally, so although you may not experience firsthand an injustice, you can live in a way that does not contribute further. 

Finding an issue you deeply care about can help you push through challenging moments in activism. 

2. Ask God 

Break my heart for what breaks Yours

everything I am for Your kingdom’s cause

These are powerful words that can turn into a prayer. Ask God to place issues on your heart that He cares about. God doesn’t need us, but he chooses to work through us. 

Seeking God in this space is so important. Ultimately, we can do so much more with God than we ever could without Him. Pray, seek and then see what happens.

3. Take a break

You will be more effective when you’re well-rested, thinking clearly and doing something you love. We live in a fallen world which sadly means there will always be justice to declare. Advocating for justice can be taxing on your mental health, so sometimes, it will be right to step away for some time. Disconnect from the world and recharge your batteries to bring your best self to that space. Never feel guilty for caring for yourself as well as caring for others.

4. Be encouraged 

Doing something is always better than doing nothing. The mere fact you’re reading this shows you’re taking steps in the right direction to begin to discern your role as an advocate for justice. 

Now take time to learn, ask God and never forget to take a break. 

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