My little granddaughter Selah, age 4, decided to teach a seminar to her brother and sister. After gathering them in the living room, Selah preached, “To be part of a community you must act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with your God.”
Drop the mic, Selah! Truth bomb, right there.
Several things struck me about Selah’s seminar. Fist, Selah had memorized Micah 6:8! Secondly, Selah was able to put it together that living in community with others involves 3 truths:
- Act justly. God has designed us for community. The point of this verse is not to pursue justice for yourself, but rather to treat others with justice. I believe this means treating those you work with and those who work for you with respect and honor. Beyond treating them fairly, treat them generously. Too often, Christians have gained the reputation for being cheap or even ripping others off. Friends, this shouldn’t be. The prophet Micah reminds us in this verse that love is the goal. Selah is right. In our communities, we need to uphold justice for others. Paying people the correct wage, leaving a generous gratuity for those who serve us, and being fair with our expectations are all part of acting justly. As believers we also need to pursue justice for those who can’t pursue it for themselves. Throughout the Bible, you will find God’s heart is for those who are most often treated unjustly: the orphan, the widow, and the refugee. As people who follow Jesus, our hearts need to beat in sync with His. When you think through acting justly, think about your community. Take action to help another. Are there orphans who need encouragement and protection? Are there widows who need help? Are there refugees who need a friend to help them shop, learn English, or figure out how to take a driver’s test? Here’s a question to consider: How does your love for God overflow with justice for others?
- Love Mercy. Living in community requires that we also extend mercy. Every person that you live in relationship with at one time or another needs mercy. Mercy implies that a person doesn’t get what they deserve. There is something in our psyche that loves it when a person gets what they deserve. But God invites us to a different perspective: the un-justice of mercy. Mercy isn’t fair. It withholds judgment and offers blessing instead. It withholds punishment and offers understanding. Here’s a question to consider: How would those closest to you rate you in terms of your ability to offer mercy?
- Walk Humbly With God. At the end of the day, if we don’t walk humbly with God, depending on Him for everything and asking Him to love others through us, we’ve got nothing. I don’t believe it’s possible to love others the way Christ wants us to without undergoing a radical transformation that is orchestrated by His Holy Spirit. Only in cooperation with Him are we able to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly.
Precious little, Selah gave quite the seminar, don’t ya think? It’s pretty profound for a four-year-old. No wonder Jesus said that we need to become as little children to understand His kingdom. I think I’ll plan to attend Selah’s next seminar. Want to join me?
Leave a comment – I’d love to hear, what do you think it means to act justly? Where or when have you seen that played out in your community?