A Second Wind: A Biblical Exploration of God’s Mind of Justice

Devotional

The Measure of Depravity 

The very thing you hate in other people resides in you. That’s right: what has happened to unarmed black men and women in America should not only shock us, but it should warn us.

The germ of injustice lives in all of us. We can hear, however, the dream of exceptionality in our indignation. We see those troubling images and videos and think we would never do anything wrong like that. Our tweets are rightfully angry, but often unrighteously condescending. Even those who claim the name of Christ have forgotten that if it were not for the grace of God we too would do to others that which we hate to see them do to someone else. As an African American Christ-follower, I can’t help but be traumatized by the long night of racism, economic suppression, and contemporary injustice endured by African American people. And that raises another concern for me.  

What would I do to people if I were in power? Would I create an inferior caste system so as to justify my insatiable greed? Would I make of an ethnic tribe the tools for my personal advancement? I would hope not, but I must admit that I am eligible to engage the same sinful thinking and behavior that I loathe in others. My greatest fear is not that I will be the subject of harm, but that I might harm someone else. So, I look into the mirror of scripture for the guardrails of life. There I find that only the Gospel of Jesus Christ keeps the oppressed from becoming the oppressors. Only a relationship with Jesus Christ gives me freedom and then keeps me from enslaving someone else.

We human creatures are not all bad, but all of us are bad. The Bible teaches that all have sinned and fallen short of God’s righteous standard. None of us escape sin’s reach. And what’s worse is that we cannot remedy our world in our own power or fix ourselves. The Gospel is the only message that can cure the problems that it diagnoses. Until you recognize that you are susceptible to the lure of sin, then you cannot fully enjoy the gift of redemptive grace.

Application Prayer

Lord, help me to hate sin more than I enjoy it.  Make me to look more like you. I recognize that I’m a sinner, but save me from my sin. Don’t let me ruin myself.