The subject of social justice is prevalent. We hear it spoken by politicians, preachers, celebrities, authors, and media influencers. Fallen humanity has produced countless injustices. In the family, it’s in the form of domestic violence, adultery, and child abuse.
In the political realm, unjust wars, discriminatory laws, and corruption abound. Human trafficking, child labour, genocides, and abortions go unnoticed around the world. When we see fellow humans treating others unjustly, we’re appalled.
“How can husbands abuse their wives?”, “How can an adult sexually abuse a child?”, “How can someone traffick vulnerable individuals for profit?” Injustice and the plight of the poor can stir our hearts in an intense way, and rightly so.
We become wise in our own eyes and let our ideas of right and wrong form the basis of justice rather than the will of heaven.
The world is divided on the causes and cures of today’s societal turbulence. Any perspective on justice devoid of Jesus’ Lordship, His coming as Saviour of the world, death on the Cross, resurrection, ascension, and His soon return, will not establish lasting fruit.
When Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden, sin entered the world and opened the door to injustice. Justice isn’t just punishment for wrongdoing – it’s the restoration of divine order and wholeness for all of creation, the restoration of all things unto the Father.
We focus on our favourite social justice causes, especially global ones garnering much media attention. Yet we neglect the little injustices we commit in our homes, churches, work places, and communities.
We scheme to oust a colleague to get the promotion that we so desire. We lie, gossip, and slander one another, driven by our competitive nature and bitter jealousies.
We speak out against racism in society but avoid certain groups of people in church. We get upset with our governments for not doing more to help the poor but in our personal lives, we’re exorbitant consumers, living lavish lifestyles devoid of generosity.
We rail against sexual immorality in our society but give ourselves to sexual compromise. The very injustices that we claim to be fighting are present in our hearts.
God exacts true justice by first confronting the degeneracy of our hearts. Then He confronts the sin between people both on an individual and societal level, including the way we treat others.
If those seeking justice are not right with God, justice can never be fully-executed on their behalf. Before we can rightly address any social justice issue, we must start with the injustices we commit against God.
We’ve all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. This is why the issue of justice starts with our need for right standing with God through faith in Jesus. The born-again experience is the beginning of justice. Until this happens in the hearts of people, we’ll continue to see rampant injustice in the world.
While we pray for righteous laws and advocate them in our societies via avenues available to us, we must bear in mind that external works of social justice may improve society outwardly but are powerless to bring internal transformation of the human heart.
As long as unredeemed man is involved, no government system has what it takes to bring about true justice on earth. No matter how extensive social justice movements are, mankind still needs to come to the saving knowledge of Christ Jesus.
Without Him, we’ll continue to perpetuate injustices against one another. Faith without works is dead, but works apart from faith are equally empty.