Friday, March 30, 2012

In The Face Of Injustice

It is one thing to overlook injustice because of ignorance of a problem; it is quite another to know of a problem and be in a position to do something about it then fail to act.  We live in an age when people demand their right to live selfishly. Selfishness, lust, covetousness and greed are the driving force in our society. We speak of freedom, tolerance and equal rights, but these pursuits breed co-conspirators to evil. It desensitizes people to injustice, promotes a spirit of lawlessness and rebellion towards God, and allows wickedness to prosper. People that once had conviction towards wrongdoing,  immorality and social injustice begin to stand by and do nothing, their excuses getting in the way of action. Enabling persecutors to make prey of others is to sin by silence.

Injustice is allowed to victimize others when a person that knows about wrongdoing has the ability to affect change, but chooses not to act. The person may feel they are too small to impact a situation, or perhaps they fear the reprisal of making an enemy, but fear of rocking the boat is not an excuse that carries weight with God or men.God did not give His people a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind. It is not a small thing to overlook injustice. God gives good men position, ability and influence then places them where injustice is, waiting for them to do something about it. To protect self interests rather than stand up for those who are wrongfully abused, mistreated or taken advantage of is just plain wrong.  When people overlook injustice it allows wrongdoing to be perceived as acceptable behavior, consciences dulled, hearts hardened to sin and rebellion ingrained in the will of those that succumb to it. Those that use force and intimidation impose unreasonable demands upon others, holding them to unquestionable compliance or rewarding their silence with praise, the perceived feeling of importance or other perks. People should be in covenant because of choice, not because others conspire to lord over them. Overlooking injustice allows evil to go unchallenged and evil to multiply. Like leaven, it will quickly permeate whatever group of people it affects and grow uncontrollably until someone stands up and says, “STOP!”

Today I challenge each of you to look around and see the injustice - where you live, work, socialize and conduct your daily affairs. It may be the way an elderly person is given negligent care in a nursing home. It might be a child abused by someone they trust, or someone bullying them. It might be a teenage girl being manipulated by someone looking to make prey of her, or a young man harassed by someone at school. It may be a woman being beaten or abused by their spouse. It could be someone in power or authority misusing that position for selfish gain. It might be the plight of the homeless, an orphan, an animal, even, that is being mistreated, neglected or abused. It could be human trafficking victims, forced into sex slavery or prostitution. It could be the silent cry of children aborted before they have a chance to be born. There are many, many social justice issues that need our attention and intervention. We each have a responsibility to challenge injustice and wrongdoing within the sphere of our influence or when we know that it is occurring right in front of us. Do you stand by and let your neighbor get beaten? Do you stand by and let your neighbor get robbed? Do you stand by and let your neighbor be deceived, bribed into silence, or watch as someone else makes a victim out of him for sport? No! Would you want someone to stand idly by while when they knew they could prevent you from getting hurt? Who is the good Samaritan? Will it be you, or someone else? You may have to face your fears. Then do it afraid. The presence of fear does not mean there is not still the presence of courage! God can make you courageous! You may feel like you are like David going up against Goliath. So be it. Greater is the God inside of you than the arrogant pride that mocks your attempt to stop the wrongdoing. Pride goes before a fall, and we must trust that GOD will set the stage for those giants to fall. We have a voice. We have a great God! Standing up against injustice causes others to gain the courage to do the same. Stand up and use what God has given you. It’s time to say, “NO MORE. THIS MUST STOP!”

If we glory in anything, it cannot be the name or reputation we try to hold onto for ourselves. It cannot be the kingdom we try to make or preserve to bring glory to our own name. No, these are only imitation cloaks of man-made glory. Let us glory in the fact that we truly understand what God requires of us; that we know Him, and exercise His heart towards others. He looks for us to demonstrate lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. These are the things He delights in! (See Jer. 9:23-24) We should love the Lord with all our heart, mind and strength, and love our neighbor as ourselves. 

Dear Lord Jesus,

Help us not to turn a blind eye away from social justice issues that you want us to address. Help us to know our level of involvement, and what you would have us to do. Guide us to the places where injustice is, and give us the courage to do whatever You may ask us to do. Father, injustice is like a plague in our society and it must be stopped. Please give us wisdom to know what battles you want us to fight, and which ones to stay out of. Give us wisdom from Your Holy Spirit to understand YOUR course of action in any given situation. I ask for the wisdom that will outwit the enemy and the answer that our adversaries cannot contradict nor resist, according to Your promise in Luke 21:15. You have also promised that if I would open my mouth wide, You would fill it. So I thank You for Your words in Your timing, in Jesus name, Amen.

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