Micah sums up what God requires of His people – to act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God. I used to think I knew what this meant. Now I am not so sure. Today, I want to reflect deeper on the first part – to act justly. Justice is to do what is right in God’s eyes. To know right and wrong. To do right and to do something about all the wrongs in the world.
At the very least, Christians should act justly to one another. But that is not where I believe this verse ends. There is a broader social responsibility of justice. We live in a world of injustice where wrong seems to triumph and right seems old-fashioned and irrelevant. Yet, Christians are called to act justly. Practically, this means identifying social injustices and calling it like it is, not sugar coating what we see, not looking the other way or turning a blind eye. Our calling is to squarely look injustice in the eye and proclaim the truth that right does overcome wrong, truth does win over falsehood, that living graciously and mercifully and in a way that gives dignity to others is life as God intended it for all people.
God may call some of us to be crusaders to proclaim God’s truth and battle directly with the people, organizations and nations that perpetuate injustice. But whether or not this is our personal calling, one thing we all have to admit is this – no matter how great our strategy is for combating injustice, no matter how many volunteers and prayer warriors we enlist for social action, we have to acknowledge that until Christ returns, we will fall short.
We can act justly as a foreshadowing of what living as citizens in the coming kingdom of God will be like, but Christ alone can recreate our society and make it fundamentally just and right and good. Until then, we try our best to do what we can. We shouldn’t be discouraged when our efforts affect little or no change. By our actions, we uphold the truth of a just God in hopes, more than that, in confidence that one day our meager efforts will be rolled up into God’s sweeping and total victory.