After two and a half months of living with Coronavirus fear and frustration, followed by a horrific image of a man with his neck pinned to the ground as his life is violently taken away from him, followed by wave after wave of protests—many peaceful, some violent—do you find yourself wondering what God requires of you in this moment? I have been wrestling with this question for the past week. I don’t begin to claim to know the full answer. But I have received help this week through the well-known words of Micah the prophet.
He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8)
What does the LORD require of me during these days of turmoil? Here is what I have received from Micah’s words this week:
- I must do justice. If anyone…anywhere…at any time does something that is unjust, my next set of actions must move in the direction of justice. In most instances of injustice, particularly systemic injustices, many people acting in a thousand different justice-moving directions are needed to effect change. To whatever degree I can, I must move toward effecting justice. Justice is the first requirement in this verse.
- I must love kindness. In the midst of my efforts to seek justice, I must also pursue kindness. Kindness should encompass the way I act, the way I speak, and even extend to the words I write on social media. Kindness is not weakness. It requires great strength for a person to kindly respond when faced with brazen injustice. Nor does kindness mean that I hold back the truth. But God requires me not only to do kindness but to love it. Kindness is the second requirement in this verse.
- I must walk humbly with God. Pursuing justice and kindness, however, are not adequate on their own. One’s heart could be wrapped up in sin even while pursuing a just cause or (surprisingly) when doing it kindly. For example, I could be consumed by internal anger and still pursue peaceful justice. Or I could be internally arrogant, thinking that I need no correction from others, and yet pursue justice in an externally respectful way. So the prophet calls upon me to consider my heart by exhorting me to walk humbly with God. If I humble myself before God, and allow him to search out my sinful attitudes and actions, then I can pursue loving and kind justice along with God, since he will walk the road of justice with me.
What does the Lord require of me in this moment?
Do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God.