My son Zach is a typical boy. He doesn’t enjoy doing homework, especially when he really doesn’t understand the topic or what is required of him. I found myself last night in a frustrating conversation. When I told him to do his reading homework (which involves a writing assignment), he just stood there. It seems he didn’t know how long he was supposed to read. The instructions were “read until you get a connection and are able to answer the question.” That is so vague for my concrete-thinker son. And it is so vague for his concrete-thinker mom too!
Have you ever been in that place where you are not sure what God wants from you? I know I have. When I investigated more fully, I found out that He doesn’t actually require very much from us, once we place our trust in Him alone for salvation.
Micah 6: 8
He has shown all you people what is good. And what does the Lord require from you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
It is that simple, but what do those three things look like today?
To act justly. Justice doesn’t mean treating everyone fairly – that is equality, not justice. Different concept. Justice means that the law is followed and upheld. This means that we, as Christians, should be very interested in the plight of those being trampled on by society – widows, orphans, fatherless, foreigners, persecuted and impoverished. We should also be very interested in seeing righteous laws and law-givers, if we truly love justice, for corrupt individuals will not administer justice.
To love mercy. The definition of mercy is not receiving a punishment that is deserved. God has shown His mercy to us by NOT sending us immediately to punishment eternally in Hell. Even allowing us to live and breathe each day is a sign of His unending mercy toward us. So, this means that we should show that same mercy to others, especially those who are remorseful. This doesn’t mean we should let every prisoner go free. This means that we should give the gift of forgiveness to others around us – they may not, probably don’t, deserve it. But by giving the gift of forgiveness, we release them from a debt owed to us and from the punishment of our own wrath. It doesn’t make them right either. Forgiveness just involves us getting off the judgment seat and allowing Jesus to sit down in it.
To walk humbly with our God. Humility is a precious quantity today, more rare than a rare jewel it seems in our American society. The Lord exalts the humble, but tears down the proud or arrogant. To walk with God requires humility. And what is humility? It is merely choosing to hold others in higher regard than yourself. It isn’t reducing yourself to others’ levels, but raising them up to be higher than yours. And to walk humbly with God, we must likewise esteem Him to be higher than us. It may seem ridiculous to some people that we can be a Christian and yet still esteem ourselves as better than God somehow, but welcome to the sinful human condition. We ooze pride. This is why humility is such a rare quantity in life!
Question: What do these qualities mean in your life today?