Justice, Mercy, and Humility
I find it odd that so many preachers and teachers ignore the minor prophets when there is so much to be gleaned from them. To me, of all the verses in God’s Word about our personal conduct, this one stands out like a sore thumb. “And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8 All that Jesus taught us about loving God, loving our neighbours, and all else that follows, can be summed up in this one short sentence.
Just three very short criteria to God’s requirement of us.
To act justly. As parents, we all know how to act reasonably justly with our children. To a child, justice includes love and, logically, how can there be justice without love? Justice is acting in all things in accordance with God’s principles as laid out for us in His Word, the Bible.
To love mercy. Apart from the fact that God is love, mercy is the primary attribute of God’s love for us. He wants us to walk in mercy – no judgements, nothing like that. Where is the love in shunning?, where is the mercy in exclusion?, where is the restoration in any of these? Mercy is God’s attribute and He wants it to be our attribute also. How many times did Jesus say to forgive our brother – seven times? No – seventy time seven and, in my mind, then start again.
To walk humbly with your God. How many people in ministry have you seen who do not walk particularly humbly. How many speakers surround themselves with a security team so that ordinary folk cannot get close to them. The best speakers I have ever seen are those who walk and talk with the people - who do not hold themselves apart, and who do not stand aloof and unapproachable. Humility is not thinking more of oneself than one should. Humility is being a very normal person – the same as those in the crowd. Humility is serving before being served.
Walking humbly before God is NOT making dodgy or derogatory jokes, told with a nudge and a wink. It is not poking fun nor is it making light or being dismissive of anyone.
Walking humbly before God is NOT murmuring and grumbling – rather it is ignoring the bad and being satisfied with what we have. It is glass half full, not glass half empty.
Walking humbly before God is NOT gossip and back-stabbing. It is not talking irreverently about anyone. It is talking reverently and respectfully about everyone. Humility is having respect for ALL you meet no matter how apparently lowly their position or job. “I would rather be a doorkeeper of my father’s house . . . . . “ Eton College is one of the oldest and most respected schools in the world. Kings and prices have been there, and so have poor but bright scholarship winners. Their greatest teaching is that of respect for every person we meet – never looking down on anyone but treating them as an equal.
Walking humbly before God is easy, there is No rocket science involved.
Just DO it! But do it God’s way.