Every Thumb's Width

Do Justice

I am not a social justice warrior. I may not even know exactly what it means. I believe that many injustices are being done in the name of justice. I understand being skeptical of those who brandish the phrase like a two-edged sword in front of others’ necks, let alone of those who beat others over the head with it like a sledgehammer of guilt.

And. (Here’s just one example of there being more than only two colors). And the Bible describes justice as something to be done not just something to keep in our dictionaries. “Ah, yes, I have a great definition right here, let me show it to you the page.” Justice cannot be true justice if it only stays at the sentence level, even if the sentence is true.

When Solomon became King and the Lord offered him whatever he asked, Solomon’s well-known request was wisdom for governing. The Lord granted the request, and the immediate case that came before Solomon was that of the two prostitutes. It’s really a fantastic story, and the result was that the people knew they had a king who would do something.

And all Israel heard of the judgment that the king had rendered, and they stood in awe of the king, because they perceived that the wisdom of God was in him to do justice. (1 Kings 3:28)

The LORD Himself “is king forever and ever,” and we stand in awe of Him because we know that He “will incline [His] ear to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed” (Psalm 10:16-18). The prophet Micah asks and answers “what is good” and what does the LORD requires for every man: “to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8).

Doing justice surely includes investigation, deliberation, vindication, retribution, and many other verbal nouns ending in -ion. Doing justice means caring about things in society, about social things, about how our neighbors are being treated, the neighbors that God commands us to love. So for those who argue that such interests and energies are moving away from the simplicity of the gospel, does this mean that doing justice is no longer to be done? Or it should be done, just not by Christians? Why not Christians? And how will those who aren’t Christians even know what justice is?