I noticed that many of the top stories in the news lately deal with the cry for ‘justice’. And what makes it worse is that those crying for it promise to do unjust things if they don’t get justice as measured by their own standards.
The fact is, because we live in a fallen world that is rooted in sin, we will be surrounded by injustices. The scales will never be truly balanced this side of heaven. Since we can’t get away from injustices, we need to turn to the Word of God to see how we must react to these injustices.
“When one of you has a dispute with another believer, how dare you file a lawsuit and ask a secular court to decide the matter instead of taking it to other believers ! Don’t you realize that someday we believers will judge the world? And since you are going to judge the world, can’t you decide even these little things among yourselves? Don’t you realize that we will judge angels? So you should surely be able to resolve ordinary disputes in this life. If you have legal disputes about such matters, why go to outside judges who are not respected by the church? I am saying this to shame you. Isn’t there anyone in all the church who is wise enough to decide these issues? But instead, one believer sues another — right in front of unbelievers! Even to have such lawsuits with one another is a defeat for you. Why not just accept the injustice and leave it at that? Why not let yourselves be cheated? Instead, you yourselves are the ones who do wrong and cheat even your fellow believers. Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God?” (1 Corinthians 6:1-9 NLT)
Notice what is commanded if justice does not occur in the church: “How dare you file a lawsuit and ask a secular court to decide the matter. Why not just accept the injustice and leave it at that? Why not let yourselves be cheated?”
What I find very heartbreaking is when pastors or church members sue a church in a secular court for the world to see. I find this happening more and more. It lets me know that people will call themselves Christian, but they will not adhere to what Scripture clearly teaches. They cannot see that at a certain point it is not a matter of who is right and who is wrong. It is really a matter of showing forgiveness and passing grace along even in the face of being a victim of injustice.
What about injustices outside the Church?:
“You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury: ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also. If you are sued in court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat, too. If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles. Give to those who ask, and don’t turn away from those who want to borrow. You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:38-48 NLT)
What does it really mean to ‘turn the other cheek’:
I have been the victim of injustice many times in my life, both in the church and in the world. I am sure many reading this have also suffered the same or worse. Without trying to sound like ‘Super Christian’, let me share what works. Because God sees everything, and He says that vengeance is His (Romans 12:19), I lay these kinds of situations into His hands. Because I walked away and gave it to Him, He blessed me many times over of what I would of gotten if I pursued the situation beyond what I was permitted to by myself. This is where the double blessing comes in when spectators notice the grace of God at work in your life and it helps change their life.
Remember, people are always watching you and how you react. When you react contrary to how the world reacts, people truly take notice!