Blessed are those who act justly, who always do what is right. (Psalm 106:3-NIV)
It’s not your imagination. On a daily basis the American people are seeing solid evidence of lying under oath, cheating, law-breaking, and silence about important issues by the leaders at the highest level. Is there no accountability? Where is justice? Will wrongdoers ever be punished? Why isn’t the Christian church speaking up?
It's no small wonder that many Americans are feeling discouraged and powerless. America is a democratic republic founded upon godly principles. Elected leaders are supposed to stand up for the folks who elected them. Sadly, it happens very little of the time. Instead, they somehow manage to accrue wealth far exceeding what their annual paychecks would seem to allow while doing precious little to help others.
Are you seeing what I’m describing? Are you disgusted by the visible corruptness that exists in almost every segment of our society? More importantly, what are you going to do about it? Will you limit your response to complaining and moaning, or are you angry and fed up enough to act? You’ve probably heard these words or something very similar: “Evil triumphs when good people are silent.”
Let me share a story my wife read on Facebook. It was submitted by Doris Carrier. I don’t know if this incident is true or simply a story. Either way, it makes a powerful and thought-provoking illustration.
On the first day of class, the law school teacher entered. First thing he did was ask for the name of a front row student:
“What's your name?”
“My name is Nelson.”
“Get out of my class and never come back!” he ordered him.
Nelson was confused. The teacher was heading his way, he got up quickly, gathered his stuff and left the classroom.
Everyone was scared and outraged but nobody was talking.
“Very good! Let's get started. What are laws for? asked the teacher.
The students were still scared, but slowly they started answering the question.
“To have an order in our society.”
“No! No! No! No!”
“For people who are wrong to pay for their actions.”
“No! No! No! No! Does anyone know the answer to this question?”
“For justice to be done,” a young girl spoke shyly.
“Finally! Justice! What is justice?!!”
Everyone was starting to get mad at the teacher's attitude. However, they kept answering.
“To protect the rights of the people...”
“Okay, okay. What else?”
“To differentiate between right and wrong, to reward those who do right...”
“Okay... so answer this question, did I do right when I kicked Nelson out of class?” Everyone was quiet, no one answered.
“I want a unanimous answer!”
“NO!” they answered in one voice.
“Could we say I did an injustice?”
“And why didn't anyone do anything about it? Why do we have laws and rules if we don't have the will to practice them? Each of you has an obligation to speak up when you witness an injustice. All of them! Every single one. Never stay silent again.”
“Go get Nelson. After all, he is the teacher, I am from another period. You know, when we don't defend our rights, dignity is lost, and dignity cannot be negotiated."
Hopefully, the Lord is speaking to you to become a part of the solution, not the problem. What steps should you take?
Pray for guidance. God still speaks. There are many possible ways to for you to act, but it makes sense to check with the One who created you and knows you better than you know yourself. As you pray, don’t be afraid to be specific. The Lord knows your situation, your strengths, and how you can maximize your influence for Him. His answer may not come immediately, but it will come in His timing.
Take the first step. I like the saying based upon on old Chinese proverb: "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." So often we want to make the perfect step at the perfect time. Result? It never happens. Make that phone call, write that letter, or take whatever step the Lord prompts you to make. Trust that the Lord will anoint your efforts and use you in powerful ways.
Don’t be afraid to risk. It’s quite natural to pray, decide your first step, and then get cold feet because of the consequences you might incur. Yes, you may experience hard things as the result of your initiative. Not a day goes by that we don’t hear or read about honest, hardworking people being persecuted for trying to do the right thing. At times like this, remember the great and awesome God you serve. He is mighty! Think about the scores of great men and women in Scripture who risked their lives to serve the Lord. One of my favorites is Joshua. As he took Moses’ place to lead the people of Israel into the Promised Land, God gave Joshua this encouragement. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).
As history has shown, Joshua trusted the Lord and God proved faithful in helping Joshua to conquer the land despite huge resistance from surrounding nations.
In Joshua 24, Joshua speaks his final words to the people of Israel before his death. I trust these words will encourage and strengthen you as you do your part to see justice on this earth.
“But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).
The Lord will bring about justice in eternity—no doubt. Here on earth, however, God enlists courageous warriors who will be part of His Army and fight for justice. Can He count on your support!