Do We Strive for God’s Justice or Our Own?
We all long for justice, and we can all tell that the world is not a just place. But should we leave justice up to God, or seek to achieve it ourselves?
MELISSA HENDERSON, CONTRIBUTING WRITER
OCT 17, 2022
What is God’s justice, and how does that differ from human justice?
The daily news is filled with stories about crimes committed against humanity. Locally and in other parts of the world, through television, radio, social media, and word of mouth, details of criminal activity are shared.
Those reports bring tears and, at times, anger. How are Christians supposed to handle justice? What is our responsibility?
Where Does the Bible Talk about God’s Justice?
Scripture shares the commandments of God.
The Ten Commandments were revealed to Moses on Mount Sinai. The two stone tablets were kept in the Ark of the Covenant. Since Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate the forbidden food, actions have had consequences. Those commandments give the rules for life. Each word is God-given.
Both the Old Testament and New Testament share about God’s justice.
PSALMOS 37.27–29 (NIV)
“Turn from evil and do good;
then you will dwell in the land forever.
For the Lord loves the just
and will not forsake his faithful ones.
Wrongdoers will be completely destroyed;
the offspring of the wicked will perish.
The righteous will inherit the land
and dwell in it forever.”
ROMANS 12.19 (NIV)
“Do not take revenge, my dear friends,
but leave room for God’s wrath,
for it is written,
‘It is mine to avenge;
I will repay,’ says the Lord.”
Will God Achieve Justice in the End?
God will achieve justice on the day of Final Judgment when Jesus will judge “the living and the dead” ( 2 Timothy 4:1 NIV).
At that time, God “will repay each person according to what they have done” ( Romans 2:6 NIV).
1 CORINTHIANS 5.10 (NIV)
“For we must all appear
before the judgment seat of Christ,
that each one may receive the things done in the body,
according to what he has done,
whether good or bad.”
Believers can find peace in knowing Jesus will be returning.
God is the Creator, and the justice of God is final.
Believers can also be comforted knowing that God will have the final say and His justice will be given on judgment day.
What Does the Bible Say about Seeking Justice?
The Bible contains verses telling of the justice and judgment to come from God.
On this earth, there can be a need for punishment when laws are broken, and harm has been done. Yet, the ultimate justice will be from God.
While rules and laws keep us safe, those requirements must be followed. Sometimes bad things occur. At those times, justice is sought to be served through the court system. That system can sometimes have flaws.
Remembering that justice belongs to God can help guide us through troublesome times.
HEBREWS 10.30 (NIV)
“For we know him who said,
“It is mine to avenge;
I will repay,”
“The Lord will judge his people.”
What Did Paul Say about Caring for Non-Believing Neighbors?
The apostle Paul had strong opinions about many topics.
In 2 Corinthians, Paul shares that we are not to be bound with unbelievers. Does that mean that justice for believers and non-believers should be different?
No. Justice is for all, according to God’s plan.
If a non-believing or a believing neighbor breaks the law, we can still love the person and not love their actions.
There are differences of opinion in all walks of life. Some people are set in their ways and refuse to listen or try to understand another point of view. Others are open to listening and having conversations about different ways of thinking.
Believers can help non-believers learn about God. Showing the love of God through words and actions may be how someone comes to know God.
We are all sinners and can seek God’s forgiveness and develop a relationship with Him.
How Have Christians Sought Justice in the Past?
History is filled with horrific accounts of people taking justice into their own hands. From lynchings to other kinds of murder, evil was and still is evident in the actions of some people.
When a crime is committed against a loved one, the desire to have quick justice may try to take over. Emotions run deep when the news shares reports of crimes. There are examples of people trying to take control of situations in the past and present.
From harsh words to hateful actions, there have been times when even Christians have chosen to take justice into their own hands.
God wants us to love one another and care for each other. Sometimes, we have to make more effort to love each other.
How Can Christians Work with Others to Achieve Justice?
The search for religious freedom has brought many conflicts throughout the world. Christians often travel to other areas of the country and the world to help bring needed justice.
As missionaries make trips to foreign lands, there are many adjustments. Preparing for the trip with medical updates (including required vaccinations), learning a new language, eating new food, and sleeping in dangerous locations are some activities missionaries endure.
Some organizations may not be Christian, yet there is an opportunity to work alongside non-believers and show the love of Christ. Conversations, prayers, and daily ways of life may be different. As justice is being sought in foreign and domestic lands, Christians can learn how to pursue it from others, then apply those lessons to their spiritual journeys.
What Can We Do to Achieve Justice Today?
Today, there are numerous ways we can help achieve justice.
Knowing where the items we purchase are made and sold can be an important method of helping. From choosing to buy items created by people not involved in sweatshops or human trafficking, to keeping up to date with information about local groups aiding others in need of justice, ways to get involved are available.
Become aware of injustices in your area and the world. Injustice is sinful. From racial abuse and exploitation of the poor or homeless, to abuse of children and elders, to human trafficking, and more, evil must not be allowed to prevail.
In some areas of the country, nursing homes need volunteers and advocates. Elder abuse is one particular area that needs attention. Domestic violence shelters often need assistance.
Pray and ask God to show you ways to help.
Find ways to learn more and seek information on how to become involved. Perhaps you are called to start a group for justice in your community or church. Seek the wisdom of clergy and other leaders who may have vital information.
ROMANS 12.2 (NIV)
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world,
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is
-his good, pleasing, and perfect will.”
Until Jesus returns, there will be injustices. As we deal with those injustices, we have the opportunity to show the world our love for God.
May we be one in the Spirit, so others will know we are Christians. May we strive for God’s justice and not our own.
A Prayer to Remember God’s Justice
Dear God, thank You for the ways You give us to deal with the injustices in the world.
Help us to love each other and to show compassion and care instead of harm and hurt.
Please cover each of Your creations with the love and peace only You can give. Thank You, God. Amen.
In His Name,
Originally published at https://www.christianity.com.