Friday, June 27, 2008

Seeking justice in an unjust world

I just started reading Oswald Chambers' "My Utmost for His Highest" daily devotional yesterday. It was originally published in 1935, but a good read stands the test of time.

"I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord." (Jeremiah 1:8) This was the scripture verse for today. It was extremely timely for me. (Isn't God's word almost always like that?) I want to share this particular devotion:

God promised Jeremiah that He would deliver him personally...Wherever He sends us, He will guard our lives. Our personal property and possessions are a matter of indifference, we have to sit loosely to all those things; if we do not, there will be heartbreak and panic and distress. That is the overshadowing of personal deliverance.

The Sermon on the Mount indicates that when we are on Jesus Christ's errands, there is no time to stand up for ourselves. Jesus says, in effect, Do not be bothered with whether you are being justly dealt with or not. To look for justice is a sign of deflection from devotion to Him. Never look for justice in this world, but never cease to give it. If we look for justice, we begin to grouse and to indulge in the self-indulgence of self-pity -- Why should I be treated like this? If we are devoted to Jesus Christ, we have nothing to do with what we meet, whether it is just or unjust. Jesus says -- Go steadily on with what I have told you to do and I will guard your life. If you try to guard it yourself, you remove yourself from My deliverance. The most devout among us become atheistic in this connection; we do not believe God, we enthrone common sense and tack the name of God on to it. We do lean on our own understanding, instead of trusting God with all our hearts.

I've been dealing with feelings of being treated unjustly. No matter how open and forthcoming I've attempted to be in this particular circumstance, there are those who want to twist words and misinterpret intentions. After a close friend of mine confided in me about a phone conversation she had with one person in particular, I lost my cool. I began to want to seek my own justice -- knowing that it was for God to handle and suspecting that I was being tested. Did I pray about it? -- yes. Did I seek wise counsel? -- yes. Did I attempt to seek my own justice anyway? --yes!

After reading this passage this morning, I realize that I was out of line. If I am to do His will, I'm going to have to learn to just shut up sometimes and let Him take care of the justice part. It's a huge pill to swallow, especially the shutting up part! May you seek Him with all of your heart today and every day, and let God take care of things in His own perfect time.

7 comments:

Kris said...

i am the same way. i am especially this way when it comes to my family. i OFTEN speak before i think and before i pray. this is something i have to constantly pray about.

there is a situation that comes to mind in my life. i not oly have to watch my tongue, but i have to keep from holding annimosity against this person.

good post

kw

Christine said...

Right now I'm dealing with something that is breaking my heart. It is in my nature to stick my fingers in my ears, close my eyes, and shout "la la la la la"!!
I'm afraid that if I talk to who I need to, I'll say all the wrong things because I'm too emotional. Have I prayed about it? Extensively. Have I sought wise counsel? Yes and no.

I'm not going to speak about it until the time is right and God says so, but in the meantime, I am having to REALLY pray about not becoming bitter. And the bitterness comes from leaning on my own understanding and my supposed "right" to self-pity. My "old self" sure does want to seek it's own justice in my emotions as well.

jamie in rose cottage said...

That is tough. God's timing never seems to match up with mine, and even though I know his timing is best, I still don't like it sometimes. Like you said, we just have to pray, and hang on 'til he says it's time.

katdish said...

Christine - So, my old self wants to ask you, "It's not anything I did, is it?" (my old self is a little paranoid)

Seriously, I'm really sad that you're dealing with something crappy. We have to do what we know is right, but sometimes that's not what comes naturally. (Actually, most of the time - for me, anyway)

Christine said...

LOL! Why, Kathy, did you do something to me that you shouldn't have? (Not to worry, I'll be the last person to find out if you did! I've got my fingers in my ears, remember?)

Of course it isn't you, anyone from church, or even anyone who would read this blog, for that matter. :) (And your next post is going to be regarding perceived paranoia, right? I'm sure Oswald has some insanely deep musings about that!)

I can just identify with your post and thought I'd share that we all go through the same struggles.

Judi said...

This is a topic I've been dealing with for 6 months...and what I realized is that God used an awful situation to strengthen my faith that He is the one who will handle the justice. And then the anger dissipates...it is not forgotten, but the pain subsides.

Ok, so maybe it took six months of therapy AND six months of prayer....but I got there! Now if only if I could remember this during the next trial we go through.....

katdish said...

Judi,

There are levels of injustice. My situation pales in comparison to most. The deeper I grow in my faith, the more I realize how often and how short I fall from being a good example for Christ. I suppose it makes me realize just how much I need His grace, and therefore (hopefully) much more appreciative of it. Your journey, albeit painful, strengthens my belief in the power of forgiveness.