Life can feel like a juggling act sometimes. Too many plates to spin, too much to keep your eye on all at once, too many dropped catches. Sometimes we pass on those pressures to other people by giving them a hard time. At other times we find ourselves saying, “Its not fair!” when we get a rough deal ourselves.
Fairness is important to us all. We’re aggrieved when we feel we’ve been unfairly treated ourselves. We also cry, “Foul!” on behalf of a family member or friend if they've been wronged. Today’s politicians talk about fairness all the time. But what is fairness? Let’s use the word justice instead. At its most basic level we all know what justice means - being treated in the right way - and it matters a lot to us all.
Demanding justice for ourselves and those closest to us is the easy side of fairness. The harder thing is for us to treat others justly. Whether it's using employer's time to do our own thing, keeping quiet when we're given too much change in a shop or hurting those we're close to, we all struggle with doing right by other people.
Perhaps we promise ourselves that we’ll sort things out with those we've wronged as soon as we can. But don't we also have the habit of pushing those days of reckoning further and further into the future? Have you ever wondered why this happens? It is often said of someone who has committed a crime that they “owe a debt to society”, but what kind of debt is it? Isn't it best understood as a debt of justice which they have built up through the unjust way they have treated others? When we have treated people wrongly, perhaps we realise deep down that we put ourselves in their debt, but when it comes to putting things right we find we owe more than we can pay.
Let’s face it, demanding justice for ourselves but being unable to supply it to others is a problem for us all. Hence the title of this leaflet. Some people think Christianity is for those who always do the right thing. In fact Jesus Christ made it clear that He came to help those who recognise they often get things wrong, rather than for those who insist they haven’t got a problem. We’ve all accumulated a debt of justice in the way we’ve behaved towards Him and those around us. He wants us to know that He can settle that debt for us.
As Christians we're not here to tell you that we’re good and you’re not. We too have had to juggle with justice. But we've discovered some good news - Jesus, knowing the enormity of the problems we all have, has taken action to get them sorted.
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All written material in this section is copyright © Randall & Mary Hardy, 2015.