“The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.” Psalm 103:6
There is nothing worse than when we see evil being carried out in the world and feel powerless to stop it. We ourselves feel cheated, our spirit recoiling at every underhanded storyline we read, exclaiming “that’s not fair.” We yearn to see justice exercised, where the oppressed are lifted up and the hand of evil disabled, until something happens to us personally. Then it’s less about me being lifted up and restored and more about the offender being punished. Our desire for justice quickly devolves into a thirst for vengeance.
Even in the church, there’s a prevalent idea that God will get someone back on my behalf and I don’t need to worry about it when according the scriptures, it is far more likely that He desires a personal encounter with them, exposing their dysfunctional places to His love and transforming them into the likeness of Christ, effectively bringing an end to the work of evil and birthing an agent of goodness and grace; Just look at Saul’s conversion to Paul in the book of Acts.
This is not to say that God does not hold people accountable for their actions, as there are many natural and lawful consequences found in society we are all subject to. It is to expose our rigid view, and while God is exacting true justice all over the earth, we miss it because we are looking for wickedness to be crushed instead of transformed. We let our incorrect view cultivate unforgiveness in us, believing God will not hold the offender responsible for their actions and punish them accordingly, and so we must. Today, we open up our desire for vengeance, and practice forgiveness, rejoicing in the true forms of justice, righteousness and kindness our Father delights in.
What does Justice look like to you?
Is there someone who’s offended you that you’ve been waiting for God to punish? Would you be willing to pray instead that God would transform them into the likeness of Jesus?
Father, I have always pictured justice as the wicked being snuffed out, and have rejoiced at the thought. I open my rigid views to You and ask that You would give me Your understanding of justice. Forgive me for holding back Your transformative power in favor of judgement and retribution. Give me peace as I forgive __________________, and release what they have done to You. I declare that You will not only lift and restore me, but will transform them into the likeness of Your Son, creating a representative of Your love and mercy through which Your Kingdom will advance and darkness will recede. Amen.