Does injustice make you angry?
When I see kids abused and abandoned, I feel angry. When I see people homeless and hungry, or imprisoned unjustly, or oppressed because they look or think differently, when I see kids in cages, when I see a legal system that filters folks based on financial means – I feel angry.
When I think about so many children trapped in lives of sexual slavery, I feel angry.
I’d guess maybe you feel angry about some of these circumstances as well.
So what do we do with our anger?
I want to hit someone, see ’em suffer, lock ’em up in a dark hole with bread and water and no human contact. I want punishment – brutal, violent, and swift. That’s what they deserve. That’s justice, right?
In society, we speak of “getting justice” for victims as guilty verdicts and jail time. We think that somehow balances the scales. Jesus, I think, looks through a different lens.
We’re called, I believe, to interrupt injustice and disarm evil without destroying the evildoer. We’re called to create justice and reconciliation.
Jesus asks us to create, not to destroy. To reconcile, not to divide. Kingdom justice means setting things right, doing what we can to put things the way God intended them to be.
Do you know how to do that? Me either, not by myself. We can’t accomplish any of that without Jesus.
Project Rescue workers go every day to an Outreach Center on G.B. Road, the nasty, horrific red light district in New Delhi. They work there to establish and nurture relationships – with prostituted women AND with the brothel owners and traffickers who enslave them. They offer Jesus’ love in the form of medical care, counseling, bible study, and a place of rest…no strings attached.
These folks created an Outreach Center. I’d want to go in with Seal Team 6, punish the horrible people who cause so much misery, and bring the innocent victims to safety. I’d want John Wayne and Matt Dillon and frontier-style justice. They want to follow Jesus.
Doesn’t mean the legal system and law enforcement don’t have a role. But we must never imagine that jail and punishment can substitute for the hard work of reconciliation.
Jesus wants us to free both the oppressed and the oppressors. I don’t know how that works.
He does. I trust Him.