Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Misadventures on the Road to Social Justice
While writing yesterday's post concerning Amos 5:24, I kept thinking about the connection between these two verses:
But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. (Amos 5:24)
Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, "Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water." (Jesus in John 7:38)
It seems there are at least three kinds of mistakes we can make when attempting to serve those in need.
1. It is a mistake to try to serve the needy apart from Christ as our motivation and source of strength. It is faith in him that should produce "rivers of living water." The needy might receive some help even if we possess an ungodly attitude, but we lose out...and burn out.
2. It is also a mistake to try to serve others with unbiblical methods, or an unbiblical message. If faith in Jesus produces rivers of living water from us, he will be our message -- whether explicitly or implicitly.
3. But another mistake is to do nothing. That's the lesson of the Jesus' parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10. Jesus said that the man on the side of the road was avoided by a priest and a Levite, apparently for religious, ethical, and/or nationalistic reasons. Jesus clearly wasn't so pleased with this outcome, as we know.
As weak human beings, we will feel that we do not live up to #1 and #2. But to fall into the inaction of #3 is certainly not God's will. Therefore, let us take courage, knowing that if our faith is in Jesus we ARE equipped to serve others. Our misadventures will be forgiven -- so let's venture forth!
Posted by Ken at 6:57 AM