Our world is full of division and hurt. Injustice surrounds us. This is nothing new, it is the fruit of the fall—the curse of sin—manifested around us every day. So what should be our response to these things? As the church and as individuals, we must examine when to fight injustice and where to grow deeper into God’s justice. This is part of whole-life generosity. A sacrificially generous lifestyle will stand up for those in need, for what is right. We must live out what we are for. It is not enough just to say we care about a cause or topic.
Yet with all this, we must remember there is a cost to being active in the problems of the world and endeavoring to find a solution to them. It is not usually a comfortable process. It will require laying down our own desires and lives. As we celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence this summer, we have to remember this act that while celebrated now was treasonous at the time. There was great cost.
Paul Harvey in his video “Our Lives, Our Fortunes, Our Sacred Honor” tells briefly what happened to some of those men who put their names to the parchment bearing, in part, those words. Many saw their property pillaged. Five were captured and tortured. Others died in the Revolutionary War. At the end, Paul Harvey declares, “They pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. And they fulfilled their pledge. They paid the price, and freedom was born.” Are you also willing to pay a price, whatever that may be for you, in the fight for what you value?
Injustice creeps in from small to systemic ways, so we must be vigilant to champion truth, love our neighbors well, and bring the redemptive work of the Gospel. To grow in this radical, generous way of life, consider these 3 areas:
Examine Your Heart
All the issues in the world can feel overwhelming, so take a moment to pause and reflect in your heart. What particular issue has the Lord laid in your realm or sphere of influence? Where has God called you to speak up for those who are misused and unfairly treated? On the other side, where are the areas that are blind spots in your life, the areas where you need further awareness? What can you do to learn and grow in those areas? A key part of this process is actively listening—to God, to trusted and wise leaders in your community, and to those who are the ones affected by injustice.
Use Your Voice
The key here is your voice. This is not about making noise or gaining a major following; it is about utilizing where God has placed you and the passions and abilities He has given you. Be an advocate for the forgotten, for those who have no voice. Speak up for the ones whom no one else takes time to notice. Share words of life, words of truth, words that will help to bring about positive change and restoration. We must be stewards of what God has given us, and the greatest way to be a steward is to serve.
Show What You Are For
Lastly, choose to engage; do not be passive. Actively show by your actions what you are for rather than only stating what you are against. In tumultuous times, the world needs us to engage, serve humbly, and act on the things that matter. One example of this was right here in Kansas City as a group organized a Pray on Troost event, a street with a history as a line of segregation between neighborhoods. They showed up on that street and prayed on Juneteenth, the day that celebrates the ending of slavery in the U.S. How can you engage with the gifts God has given you to honor Kingdom purposes?
We will only develop in justice more fully when we choose to be honest, to reflect, and to grow. But championing a cause is not always glorious; it can be a hard and lonely road to walk. Remember in those challenging moments that the goal is not to impress people or to be the loudest voice people hear. The goal is to be like Jesus. He loved the least of these, even when that choice was not always the most popular one.