It is well with the man who deals generously and
lends; who conducts his affairs with justice.
Justice [juhs-tis]: the quality of being just;
righteousness, equitableness, or moral rightness.
As Christian people, we understand that there
is only One who is truly just. Only God fulfills
completely the qualities of justice. In fact, Jesus in
his suffering “continued entrusting himself to him
who judges justly” (1 Peter 2:23). In the midst of
unimaginable distress, Jesus faithfully submitted
his life and well-being to the perfectly just Father.
It is important to note that Jesus’s expectation of
justice was very different from what we usually
expect. When we call for—even demand—justice,
we look almost exclusively for immediate,
favorable conclusions on our behalf. Our idea of
justice usually involves a desire for outcomes that
are palpable, and that come with little or no wait.
Interestingly, God’s idea of justice is far
different from ours. When scripture speaks of the
justice of God, it speaks of God’s holiness and
God’s righteousness. It illuminates God’s care and
attentiveness to his creation. It tells of God’s
eternal nature that can never and will never be
violated. It proclaims the reality of a perfect and
infinite God who will address sin and who will
address injustice in a way that is in complete
harmony with who God is. For God, as for us,
justice is the righting of wrongs. Yet with God,
justice comes in different ways and with different
timing than we typically prefer. Human beings are
disposed to becoming frustrated, angry, and
disappointed when justice is not swift and sure.
We rail against the system—or against God—
when justice appears to us to be insufficient. We
want an instant righting of wrongs.

We clamor for the rapid and stern
punishment of wrongdoers. But God is the
only true wise one, and God knows exactly
what is right and what is just, because he
is perfectly right and perfectly just.
In the 1 Peter passage above, Peter
declares that Jesus did not retaliate when
insulted, and that Jesus did not make any
threats when persecuted. Jesus instead
placed his trust completely in the Father,
fully confident in the justice—the
righteousness, the holiness, the care and
attentiveness, the wisdom—of God. The
Father would again be proven right through
his work in the Son. But righteousness and
justice in that case would not be clearly
seen until the Resurrection—an event that
came after suffering, after torture, and after
As for me, I am prone to use “justice” as a threat, or even as a hammer. In order
to imitate Christ, however, instead of
threatening or retaliating, each of us is
called to rely on the One who is perfectly
faithful, the One whose justice is
flawless—though it is rarely immediate.
The psalmist (in italics above; Psalm
112:5) writes that we prove our
understanding of true justice by our
practice of kindness and generosity. Paul
charged the Galatians to “do good to
everyone, and especially to those who are
of the household of faith.” As Christian
people, we are being remade into the
image of Christ. We are a people who are
expected to entrust our lives to the justice
of God, even in the worst of
circumstances. And we are a people who
are being equipped to do good to
everyone, to be righteous and equitable, to
care for others, to be attentive, to be
compassionate, to be holy, to be just, and
to imitate Christ. –Ricky

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