Judging Justice

We hear a lot about ‘justice’ right now. Hardly a week passes that we don’t hear President Bush, or some other Western leader say they will seek out and find some individual, group, or other and ‘bring them to justice.’

The word ‘justice’ is often used as a euphemism for revenge or retaliation. Recently America’s National Public Radio carried an article on the events surrounding a number of US Marines who were shot at along a road in Basra Iraq. Sadly, one of their soldiers was killed. The Marines reacted and as a consequence, scores of Iraqis died, including women, children and babies. The military report listed those deaths as ‘collateral damage.’ (Another interesting euphemism!).

But now a third investigation is suggesting that the Marines deliberately massacred people in this village, despite an earlier investigation that dismissed such allegations by the Iraqis. The reactions to this event, regardless of where you stand, are understandably emotive.

We’re often placed in paradoxical situations. On one hand, the ‘human instinct’ is to react and seek ‘justice.’ On the other hand, the spiritual side of us says we are to not judge.

In our journeys through spiritual living one of the blemishes we can incur is that of false humility. Sometimes, in order to avoid doing what is right, we either ignore or pretend we are too ignorant of God’s will to know what to do. CS Lewis wrote ‘The trouble with trying to make yourself stupider than you really are is that you can often succeed.’

During these turbulent times it’s a condition in which we often find ourselves, unable to render elementary justice to outrageous crimes, because we believe we shouldn’t judge.

Failing to judge does not mean abandoning the call for justice. It means not arrogating God’s authority.

May your views be just, your heart full of mercy, and your life humble before God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God…But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. Do to others, as you would have them do to you. Matthew 5:9; Luke 6:27-31

Hear, you heads of Jacob and rulers of the house of Israel! Is it not for you to know justice? Micah 3:1

Labels: , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home