I have been writing posts on my blog following the Verse of the Day put out by the YouVersion Bible app or Bible.com. The verse they chose today was from the prophet Amos calling for justice to roll on like a river. I am sure it is connected to the great civil rights leader, Martin Luther King, Jr.
We say that MLK helped to achieve justice through His actions. I know there will always be people that hate for reasons such as race, but his leadership turned a nation, routed out a large portion of systemic racism especially in the south. We simply cannot deny the enormity of his impact on our society. There is no doubt that this man forwarded the cause of justice like none before him nor after him, but can we characterize his approach to the problem as just.
When the Alabama state troopers began to physically beat those who were marching for racial freedom under the leadership of Martin Luther King, they did not respond. Martin Luther King never called for what most of us might consider justice which would have been a beat down on those troopers or at the very least, they be put in jail. He never called for that. He led his followers to remain non-violent. He gave grace and loved all people. As I wrote in my blog Roll On Like a River, this is the kind of personal justice God calls every believer to live. We do not seek to give people what they deserve. Instead, we give grace. We may set up boundaries and/or distance between us and those who keep hurting us, but Christian personal justice does not seek revenge.
“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” – MLK
On this day of celebrating the person, Martin Luther King, I wanted to throw a spotlight on the power of personal justice. This is not a comment on our justice system. Personal justice is different. It is how I live out the command of God to act justly and love mercy (Micah 6:8). Christ came to demonstrate the personal justice of God. He came not to judge, but to give grace, to show kindness, to die for the sins of those who had not been faithful to Him. The effect of His personal justice turns hearts back to him. When MLK called for personal justice of doing the right thing by people, but never employing vengeance nor retribution, a nation was changed.
We live in a society consumed with the idea of hurting those who hurt us. The stick knives into the backs of those we love in heated arguments to hurt them because they have hurt us. When the offense is personal, the intensity of our anger leans more toward ‘eye for an eye’ than justice tempered with grace and mercy. But it is the personal justice we see in Christ followed by MLK and his movement that has power to effect incredible change. This is true whether we are speaking of the racism of a nation or a cold marriage. We need to adopt this type of personal justice that Christ modeled for us, then we need to let it roll on like a river.
Live Blessed and Be a Blessing!
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