EDITOR’S NOTE: “Justice Looks Like…” is a special series in the Voice column. Readers will have the opportunity to view justice from many perspectives. The series is based on each writer’s understanding of the scriptures and their relationship to Jesus Christ. Writers present their own views independently of any institution, unless otherwise stated in their biography.
You are encouraged to listen to every writer without prejudice. Then strike up a conversation with others around you about what justice looks like to you.
Click here for more information on the series. Click here to read the entire series “Justice looks like …”.
God’s people have a long history of injustice and injustice. As stated in the book of Numbers, the Israelites made their careers crying out to God when they were in need, taking his provision and humbling themselves before him… until they were again dissatisfied. Throughout history we repeat this same pattern over and over again.
Remember the sordid story of King David’s affair with Bathsheba in 1 Samuel 11. Bathsheba got pregnant and David sent her husband, Uriah the Hittite, to the front lines. Uriah, an elite soldier in David’s army, was killed in order to absolve David’s sin.
David then took Bathsheba to be his wife. This displeased the Lord, and Nathan was sent to rebuke David, who finally uttered a sincere cry to the Lord, “Restore to me the joy of your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit.” Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you. … My tongue will sing loudly for your righteousness ”(Psalm 51: 12-14).
The gift of the word of God
We all participate actively, passively and unwittingly in injustice. We seem to be no different from the Israelites, for we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God.
What is God’s response to this injustice? He shows his love for us by sending his Son to die for us while we were still sinners. He gives us a gift: Jesus.
Many different opinions, strategies and tactics are advocated today to address the injustice that exists in our world. God continued to remind me of Jesus’ words from the Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew 6:33. Jesus told us to focus on seeking first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.
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Second Timothy 3: 16-17 tells us that the scriptures are inspired by God and useful for teaching, for convincing, for correcting, and for instructing in righteousness, so that the man of God will be adequate, equipped for every good work.
Exposing Justice in Christian Higher Education
For almost four decades, I worked in Christian higher education at Wayland Baptist University. Clearly, I am committed to the transformative power of our mission and the work we are privileged to do.
As a Christian educator, I believe that justice consists in courageously seeking out vulnerable people and helping them, educating them and directing them to Jesus.
Justice is like teaching, modeling and equipping them to understand and adopt a Christian worldview, for it is only through the redemptive work of Jesus that solutions to injustice are found. really found.
We all sometimes, consciously or unconsciously, overlook opportunities to make a difference by showing love for Christ and directing people to Jesus. In those times, we follow David’s example, repenting and referring to the righteousness of God.
We can’t all do it all, but we can all do something. My role is to lead, teach and uplift the next generation to know the truth of God’s love for them. Righteousness is like loving God and loving others, and for me, loving others is teaching them the truth of the gospel.
Today, as injustice swirls around us, Wayland is still committed to her mission to equip her students to be light in the dark. Our circumstances and challenges are complex, and it often seems like chaos reigns and we have lost our ability to trust ourselves, just as humanity has done throughout history.
We are often faced with difficult questions and sometimes we can feel like we do not know the answers. At Wayland during these times, with bright, eager eyes gazing at me, I must teach what I know: the grace, love, and truth of Jesus are the only things that truly equip us for righteousness.
Bobby Hall is the president of Wayland Baptist University.
Click here to read the entire series “Justice looks like …”.