When I was a younger woman I had a deep sense of justice. I wanted to right all the wrongs of the world. I used to say that I hoped to have a son one day and I intended to name him “Justice” so that I could be responsible for bringing justice into the world. Well, I did have a son, but his name isn’t Justice. It should have been, however, because that apple didn’t fall far from the tree. In fact, I would say my sense of justice pales in comparison to his. His world is only black and white and I have to remind him often that I am in fact “the Mom” and I don’t need his help correcting or disciplining his 4 younger sisters for their breaches of the rules. A legalist, that one.
Fortunately I’ve lived enough life and gained a tiny bit of wisdom so that I’m now able to let some things go…although my husband still says he wouldn’t want to cross me when I get a bee in my bonnet about something. But my firstborn, he can’t let ANYTHING go. He recently had a clash with a teacher at school and he came home in a state of uproar over it. His sense of justice appealed to my role as mom. He felt I needed to fix this thing and fix it now!
Ok mom, take a deep breath. Your child is upset. He feels slighted in some way. He wants you to help. To fix it. What should we do? Well, first of all, get your “Momma Bear” under control. Second, know there is ALWAYS at least two sides to every story. Ask some questions before you go Postal and try to burn the school building down.
You know what? I believe, based on my son’s version of the story, he was wronged. Maybe not intentionally, but he was hurt nonetheless. I hate that. But I also know it’s life. So we had a lesson in Romans 12-13. Sometimes justice is delayed because justice doesn’t belong to us. It belongs to God. It is not our place to “get back” at others for the wrongs they commit against us. I see it often with my kids. One child hits another and thinks they are justified in doing so because the other one said something mean. I wish that kind of behavior was isolated to children, but unfortunately we see it everywhere. In the government. In marriages. In the work place. In the church. We are wronged and so we feel we have the right to react. Enact justice.
Now don’t misunderstand me. There is a time and place to stand up for right and justice. Especially if it is for those who can’t stand up for themselves. We need to be the voice for those who don’t have one. But so much of our actions in relation to justice has nothing to do with those without a voice. It’s about exercising our voice for ourselves. And we’re willing to sacrifice our testimony to do it. If you have to sacrifice your testimony as a believer in Christ in order to get justice, then you are wrong friend and you need to let it go. There are more important things in life than us being right.
When my son had his clash with the teacher we talked about his responsibility in the encounter. Maybe he was wronged but what’s his role as the student to the teacher? To be respectful to authority. Was he? If not, then he was wrong. Someone else’s wrong actions do not justify ours. We can’t help what others do or say, but we always have a choice in how we act and what we say. And we don’t have to stoop to a lower level and actually sin with our words and justify it by calling it “justice”. If you have to sin to get justice then it is only a display of ungodliness. God is not pleased with the action. He is broken over your sin.
Friends, I’m as big a Momma Bear as anyone. I’m a huge advocate for my kids, special needs and those without a voice. That’s good. But when it comes to our own wronged hearts, we need to give it to the Lord, because He is the author of justice. Not us. Let Him fix it in His own time. And we need to teach our kids to trust God with their hurts too. We can’t act ungodly before them and expect them to act any other way. The world will know us by our love for each other, so be especially careful with those in the body of Christ. The Holy Spirit convicts of sin. The Lord disciplines. He is the Daddy, and He doesn’t need our help.
Take a look at these verses from Romans and let God’s Spirit speak to you. And whatever hurt you’re holding onto, let it go. Choose the high road. You get to decide who you’re going to be, and vengeance is not the path of the believer.
Have a wonderful weekend and recognize God’s grace all around you. Blessings!
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.[c] Do not be conceited.
17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 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,”[d] says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”[e]
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
13 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.