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Thursday, January 21, 2016

I Wonder if We Have "Justice" All Wrong

Why do we seem to place "love" in tension with other attributes of God?

"God is love, but God is also holy..."

Isn't love holy? 

"God is love, but God is also righteous..."

Isn't love righteous?

I feel as if we are creating unnecessary contrast.

If someone were to say, "God is love, but God is also hate," I would understand the need for the conjunction.  Clearly, I think this would be an untrue statement, but people do use it, if not in their words, than in their actions.

If someone were to say, "God is love, but God is also indifference," I would also understand the need for the conjunction, and ditto to my sentiments above.

Undoubtedly, in the English language where I can love my husband... and pizza... and glitter... and Star Wars... and my kids... and messy art projects... and my pet fish... and that inspirational quote I just read... and your new hair color; we have some difficulty defining what love is, but I'm starting to wonder if our bigger issue is that we want it to conflict with its very properties, for our own sake.

Justice is a hard one.

I think we often equate justice with karma, and karma is a... difficult concept to explore...

From a position of self-righteousness or power we look at others (often others who have done legitimately horrible things or have hurt us in some way or are simply different than we are) and we postulate that all is still right with the world, because someday "those people" will get what they deserve.  After all, God is just.  Is God love?  Well... of course.  But, God is also just.  There is a point at which God draws the line.

That's too bad, because by that definition, you're going to get what you deserve, too... and so am I.

So, I quickly looked up the definition of "justice", today, and I found the most interesting little piece of information in the section that listed the synonyms for "justice".  Let's try "impartiality" on for size.  I think that might be a good way to go, since Scripture is pretty clear that, "God does not show favoritism" (Acts 10:34, Romans 2:11, Galatians 2:6... take your pick...)    

Sin really sucks, but as it turns out, the same God that forgives me for mine will forgive you for yours and will also forgive all those other people we really don't like for theirs.  As it turns out, none of us are going to get what we deserve.  There is something very humbling about this, both because it is a reminder of my own unworthiness and also because it is a reminder that God cares about all life, even when I am limited by my own pain, anger, or idiocy (it can go any of these ways).  Maybe justice has a lot to do with recognizing how precious life is.


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