Monday, July 10, 2017

How to Navigate Evil, Justice, and Love

“It is a joy for the just to do justice, but destruction will come to the workers of iniquity.”—Proverbs 21:15 (NKJV)

When someone hurts me, I think about evil, but talk myself into calling it “justice.” We all have an inborn longing for justice, but evil is much more present in us than we’d like to admit. Evil runs through us all like creeping vines in an untended garden.

Pain and life’s hurts cause me to forget what is valued, beautiful, and spiritual, especially when consumed by evil’s clinging, insatiable tentacles. While I should be sleeping, I lie awake and think about how to exact violent revenge and get away with it. My evil looks so delicious when I rehearse it in my mind on my bed; convincing myself it’s justice.

Love overpowers evil. Love is radical, but cannot be fully realized until evil is completely exposed. Jesus Christ proved this on the cross when, as He was abused, was heard saying, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34 ESV).

Evil has an inferiority complex and hates love. Like cancer, evil steals nutrients from its host.
Love heals and forgives and sets things right without destroying. The only victim of love is evil. The intention of God expressed from Genesis through Revelation is to set the whole world right. All of creation is crying out for this, and this is part of the Christian task: “Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause” (Isaiah 1:17 ESV).

New life in the Spirit produces a radical transformation of behavior in people that results in making things right. You get to work with God through the Spirit of Jesus to set things right. This is in your power. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the world is a lost cause, throw your hands in the air, and retreat into your own private faith.

When Christians protect the widow, correct oppression, and care for the fatherless, they’re bringing the new world God has planned for our future right here into the present. That is justice. Since this is God’s ultimate plan for creation, this is what we are working to do now. We are ambassadors of a world where injustice will never exist. Since we believe that, let’s live that way now.

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