Word of the Week: Justice

“No justice. No peace.” Protestors have cried across America’s major cities for the past week.

From New York City to Minneapolis to Los Angeles and in between, people have been demonstrating against police brutality in response to the death of George Floyd, a black man, at the hands of a white cop.

Pop star, Beyoncé, expressed the feelings of so many in a video posted Saturday: “We need justice for George Floyd. We all witnessed his murder in broad daylight. We’re broken and we’re disgusted. We cannot normalize this pain.”

On Friday, Derek Chauvin, formerly a Minnesota cop, the man seen kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes — was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Yet, the protests have continued. Many turning violent, as buildings are burned, stores are looted, and police trying to protect people’s property are pelted with rocks and other projectiles.

Both the actions, the calloused cop that ignored George Floyd’s cries for help, as well as the subsequent violence and vandalism by the rioters remind us of the ugliness of sin. Of its far reaching effects. Of its devastating consequences. And that both racism and retaliation are wrong.

It is totally understandable that the family of George Floyd as well as all fair minded people desire justice in this case. No right thinking person can excuse Chauvin’s egregious actions, inhumane treatment, and total disregard for human life. Police officers across America have repudiated the behavior of this racist, rogue cop.

All of us should desire justice. God is a God of justice and calls upon his people “execute justice for the oppressed” (Ps 146:7). To do good. To seek justice. And to defend the fatherless (Isa 1:17). “Blessed are those who keep justice” (Ps 106:2).

Justice, however, is not executed by injustice. We’re a nation of laws. Mob rule is not the answer. Lashing out against other cops who are trying to serve and protect only exacerbates the situation and creates more injustice. While peaceful protesting is lawful and legitimate, rioting is not. Robbing, pillaging, and plundering the private property of other American citizens does not accomplish justice for George Floyd. Nor does it eradicate the sin of racism.

Hopefully, not only Chauvin, but others who may be responsible for this horrific tragedy will be held accountable. And justice will triumph. Prayerfully, cooler heads will prevail and this senseless rioting will soon cease.

All of this is a reminder of the importance of treating others with respect regardless of our position. Of ridding ourselves of racism, bias and bigotry. Of standing up for the disenfranchised and marginalized of society. But also of remembering that two wrongs don’t equal a right. And that justice cannot be achieved by the exercise of injustice.

Because we live in an imperfect world with flawed people, there will always be some degree of injustice. While we do not tolerate it and work to minimize it, we will never totally eliminate it.

True justice, fairness, equity and equal treatment of all of mankind, however, will not occur by mobs chanting in protest marches, or changing laws, but by individually changing hearts.

Ultimately, of course, God, the just judge of all mankind will exact justice fairly, impartially and righteously (Ps 7:11).

Perhaps on a much smaller, but also more personal level, we should look in side our own hearts and evaluate our efforts in effecting justice in our relationships. In our homes. In our churches. And in our communities. God requires His people to love kindness. Walk humbly. And do justice (Micah 6:6).

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Rom. 12:21).

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

9 Comments

Filed under Word of the Week

9 responses to “Word of the Week: Justice

  1. James Grushon

    Ken the article was good as usual. There is one thing I believe we assume that may not be true. Was this the act of a racist or just an act of a man that has issue towards all men. The evidence may prove your statement true, He may be a racist but what makes us think that his action would have been different towards a Hispanic or even another white? The assumption of his motives based upon racism may not be true however, his disregard for another human who he possessed power over speaks for itself. The issue may not be race but his character towards all men. If I judge without color (which all of us should) may others still accuse me of being a racist? May we be careful how we judge so as not to encourage harsh judgment from others. Just a thought.

    • Ken Green

      I totally agree with James, Great article. But one thing we don’t know is the motive of the inhumane act. The motive of racism was immediately assumed. Motive has become the predominant issue in our land. But it is the crime that should be punished regardless of motive. God shall judge the intent of the heart.

    • Jim, thanks, as always, for your thoughtful comments on my posts. You have a valid point regarding motive. In fact, I added the “racial” description after writing the post and decided to include it. According to quite a few new media reports there has been a history of racism within the Minneapolis police department. Plus, I think most African-Americans would believe there’s a racial element involved. Granted, neither points prove the cop was a racist. If the evidence proves otherwise, I will edit the post and retract the charge.

  2. Nona Phillips

    The vast majority of men who have been murdered by policemen in this country have been black. Rarely is a white man murdered at the hands of a policeman. It is not a giant leap to assume this was racially motivated.

    • Jim

      Nona, first of all the total number of men murdered by police is minimal, those killed by police is minimal. To heighten racism by assuming an act is race related is not within Our ability to know and should not be a way we as Christians make judgment. Matthew 7:1 tells us the way we judge others is the way we will be judged. Assumptions are not sound judgment and since we cannot look into the hearts and motives of men we need to judge fruit. My only statement is that we need to be careful not to assume that this killing is racist just because a black man was killed. It may be race based and if it is we will find out, but to assume is neither fair or sound. If the man killed was white or Asian would it have made this less terrible? We need to look at our attitude when judging others, what biases do I hold?

  3. Johnny Miller

    I Agree with you Nona,It has happen so many times that a White person Commit a crime with a Gun and is apprehended by the Police instead of being gunned down when they come face to face with the Police while holding a Gun. While some Blacks are gunned down just because the Police thought They saw a Gun or Knife.Statistics support your statement regarding vast majority of men murdered by the Police is Black vs those who are white or any other race.Jim,” stated it may be race based and if it is we will find out”,is not necessary True, because in such cases as these in the Past it is not actually revealed, the Police officer will never admit that!

  4. We will only see true justice when Jehovah God’s day of vengeance arrives. I don’t believe protesting whether peacefully or otherwise will fix a broken system.
    “Look! My servant, whom I support!My chosen one, whom I have approved!I have put my spirit in him; He will bring justice to the nations. He will not cry out or raise his voice,And he will not make his voice heard in the street. No crushed reed will he break,And no smoldering wick will he extinguish. In faithfulness he will bring justice. He will not grow dim or be crushed until he establishes justice in the earth.” (Isaiah 42:1-4)

  5. Pingback: Weekly Recap: May 31-June 6 | ThePreachersWord

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