We’ve all heard the words “unprecedented times” an unprecedented number of times in recent months. Not yet recovered from a truly unprecedented global pandemic, now we’re processing the tragic death of George Floyd; an incident which is saddest because of just how “precedented” it is. We’ve seen injustice play out like this before, and the repetitions strengthen the conviction we should feel as godly men to do something about it.
So how should the man of God respond at a time like this? We are surrounded by a pizza-night-in-the-dining-hall level roar of responses. Some are clearly god-honoring, others are clearly not, and many fall somewhere in between. Here are a few ways to engage with injustice as a godly man:
- Align your heart with God’s. Scripture has a lot to say about justice. Consider committing Micah 6:8 to memory so that you will be more likely to live it out. Read Amos 5 to try to get a picture of how God feels we should be treating the marginalized, the oppressed, and the poor.
- Start with yourself. The theme of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5) is to bring attention to the condemnable sin we’re often not even aware we’re committing. That’s why the Beatitudes (Matt. 5:3-10) celebrate those who understand their unrighteousness enough to hunger and thirst for righteousness. Consider how injustice and racism can be more broadly systemic than the one violent act that brings attention to them. Are there ways we contribute to injustice without knowing? Do we subconsciously make assumptions about others based on race? The godly man has to question himself bravely and answer honestly to root out sin in his own life.
- Weep with those who weep. (Rom. 12:15) It’s tempting to look away from painful news. The man of god, however, is called to engage with the hurting. Let’s look for opportunities to empathize with those who feel marginalized or misunderstood. Whatever your background or skin color, listen with an open mind to your black friends, and consider the unique challenges they face. When a people group cries out for justice, the godly man responds in love.
A response to this kind of sin requires courage and humility. Sin’s grip on this world is firm, and the violence and pain of recent weeks has made that unmistakably clear. The Christian knows better than most, though, that sin’s grip extends into our own hearts, and we are helpless apart from Christ’s healing. Let’s attentively root out sin in our own hearts, and call on Christ to fill our hunger with righteousness. May Jesus heal our injustice, treat us with mercy, and enable us to walk humbly forward doing the good work he has planned for us.