I used to lead our hospitality ministry at YWAM Perth for many years. Every week, at least one person would tell me how hospitable I was. I had a feeling it related more to what they saw of my task, rather than a character trait (although I hoped I was hospitable!). After this time in hospitality, I started pioneering the anti-trafficking ministry I now lead. Almost immediately, people started telling me that they loved my ‘heart for justice’, but they stopped affirming my hospitable nature. It seemed to be a trade off – my heart of hospitality for a passion for justice!
Although it’s a bit of a funny story, it started me thinking and studying and asking the Lord to help me understand this aspect of who He is. I started getting invitations to speak on justice, and I very quickly realized that although I know what injustice feels like, it’s harder to identify what justice actually is, much less talk about it publicly.
What I found is that the Bible has a LOT to say about justice and injustice, and this forum is severely limited in its capacity for detailing much about this topic. But one of the main points I want to mention here is that of perspective.
Often we look at an unjust situation, and see only what is in front of our eyes. We are ‘close up’ in our view and declare what we see to be unjust about the situation, and what the punishment for the perpetrator should entail.
I might look at the photo above of the woman cooking, holding a young child, and feel I want more just circumstances for her. Yet I don’t know her character, what choices she has or hasn’t made, what those around her have done or not done.
God however, sees both the large picture of the whole city she lives in, and He sees her in this city, as an individual. His perspective is one that includes the whole view of the situation – past and present, and the likely future. He sees all the people involved, their motives, their pain, their pride and their influences. He see those that are hurt, their needs, their pain, their capacity and their options.
He knows every detail about both scenes and is the only one qualified to pass final judgement and give what is truly just or merciful to all parties.
These verses below sums up these two points well, and they give me a deeper hope and faith that He cares, loves and sees all that He has created.
Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Hebrews 4:13
The LORD is righteous in all His ways And kind in all His deeds. Psalm 145:17