Change is never easy, especially if it is something you are unaware of the need for change. In Red, Yellow, Black, and White we began a conversation about loving all people because of an intrinsic value placed within them as image bearers of God. This week we will dive deeper into the Christian’s response to injustice in the world around them in order to cultivate a sustainable culture of love for neighbor and self.
What is Injustice?
You might be wondering, “What is injustice anyways?” You are probably aware of the murder of George Floyd, the rioting, and other situations that have arose over the past few weeks in America as the result of injustice. Injustice can be a hard word to fully grasp. Simply defined, injustice is any unjust act done to an individual or group. What is important to remember though is that injustice happens to many different people in many different ways. Most people will experience or witness some act of injustice on a daily basis. These unjust acts can be done to those of a different race, socioeconomical status, gender, ability, health, or religion. We must not limit the range of injustice if we want to create change in our world for the glory of God.
Time Out #1:
- Can you think of a time at school you witnessed injustice?
- If you were to explain injustice to someone at church younger than you, how would you do that?
- Have you ever been the recipient of an unjust act? If so, what was it and how did it make you feel?
What is Behind Injustice?
Whether you have witnessed injustice, experienced it, or even been the individual carrying out injustice, the truth behind injustice can be boiled down to three main ideas. First, injustice takes place when an individual believes something about another individual because of their differences. Second, injustice takes place when an individual possesses an attitude towards another individual because of the differences between them. Third, injustice takes place when an individual acts a certain way to another individual because of the differences between them. When these three things are found in the heart, injustice can be born. However, it is these same three things that Jesus will use to cultivate a culture of change, leading to grace and compassion for those He incountered on a daily basis.
How to Cultivate Change
If we want to cultivate change in our world, it begins with one. One individual making a commitment to love and show compassion like Jesus. Jesus teaches us the second greatest commandment, in Mark 12:31, “The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” We have all heard this truth since a very young age, but it is acting upon it that makes it challenging. If we are going to end injustice on any and all levels, we must notice how Jesus applies this truth in compassion. Time and time again Jesus loves with compassion for the marginalized, oppressed, and those without a voice. He does this as an individual, and never allows stereotypes to prohibit Him from seeing a soul (see Mark 2:13–17; Luke 17:11–19; John 9). It is when we can train our hearts to believe the good, express an attitude of good, and act in a way that produces hope in Jesus that lasting change will take place.
Compassion in Action
To end this devotional together, open your Bibles together, and study Mark 10:13–16 and John 4:1–42 together. And answer the following questions:
- What injustice could have been done?
- What did Jesus believe about the individual(s) affected?
- What attitude did Jesus have towards the individual(s) affected?
- What did Jesus do for the individual(s) affected?
Cultivating sustainable change in a world full of injustice must begin with cultivating a heart to look more like Jesus. I want to challenge you as a family to create a contract to hold each other accountable to love and have compassion in your beliefs, attitudes, and actions towards others for the purpose of pointing more people to Jesus. God bless your family as you cultivate sustainable change!