If we think our best justice work is done without Biblical truth, Jesus, or the Church, then we’ve missed the point entirely.
When discussing justice with Christians, I seemed to land on ‘well if only the Bible had this kind of nuance to really tackle that issue’ or ‘the Church isn’t leading on this, so let’s look to [insert Instagram page/justice organisation] for advice’. I had begun to believe the Bible was insufficient to really tackle justice issues.
However, God’s kindness found my cynical soul. For every question or doubt, God led me to scripture which either brought answers or peace in the mystery. For example, I thought the Bible was silent on how historically, white missionaries distorted Biblical mission to fulfil a colonial agenda. But Matthew 23:15 has strong words to say about salvations with strings attached. Through reflecting on God’s Word, I have learned these three things.
1. LET GOD FRAME JUSTICE, NOT INJUSTICE FRAME GOD
“[Jesus] who was seated on the throne said,
‘Behold, I am making all things new.’
Also he said, ‘Write this down,
for these words are trustworthy and true.'”Revelation 21:5
I had let my International Development degree, criticisms of the Church, and the reality of a broken world shape my view of God’s justice. As I grieved and repented over injustice, I had become lost. Where could I turn to for a trustworthy basis for justice?
Then, I felt Jesus ask me to trust Him. Even if I didn’t know the answers. Even if I felt like the Church wasn’t leading the way. King Jesus asked me to trust Him. To believe that He is the cornerstone and He has a restoration plan.
2. JUSTICE WORK WITH GOD IS MORE EFFECTIVE THAN WITHOUT HIM
“But when I thought how to understand this,
it seemed to be a wearisome task,
until I went into the sanctuary of God;
then I discerned their end.”Psalm 73:16-17
Without God, justice work can create a saviour complex. You see yourself as needed to solve all the world’s problems. However, that’s for God to carry, not us. We are vessels for His glory, but we didn’t rise victoriously on the cross, Jesus did! So let’s not martyr ourselves unnecessarily or let pride get in the way.
‘Rest is resistance’ is a growing activism trend prioritising wellbeing and mental health. God’s rhythm of rest in creation allows us to receive grace. Rest with God equips and transforms us, releasing peace and strength to fulfil our purpose. There is enough grace to rest. We cannot – and do not need to – work in our own strength.
3. THE BIBLE DOES HAVE THE ANSWERS, TRUST IT
What are you cynical, disillusioned or need wisdom for when it comes to your pursuit of justice? Talk with God about how He is present amid injustice (John 8:1-11).
God wants to invite you to a deeper calling to live justly, with Him right at the centre. Choose to follow Him and trust that He is good.