April 23, 2013

Justice, Mercy, Compassion

Zechariah 7:8-14

This is what the Lord Almighty said: “Administer true jus-tice; show mercy and compassion to one another.”


—Zechariah 7:9

In girls’ club, the leader asked the question from Micah 6:8: “What does the LORD require of you?” In unison the girls responded with the next part of the verse: “To do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God.” They had memorized this as their theme verse. Justice, mercy, and walking with humility are the behaviors that God is looking for in all of us. It’s a deeply biblical theme.

God calls us, as a matter of worship, to act justly in our day-to-day lives, not being swayed by who has power and who does not. We honor God by showing not only impartial justice but also mercy and compassion. God himself clarifies that we are to seek justice for those who are not socially powerful—the single mother, foster children, immigrants, the poor. God declares, in effect, through Zechariah: “I don’t even want your worship if you are taking advantage of and not defending the weakest among you. You’re worshiping only to make yourselves feel better, not to honor me.”

Those are strong words. The suffering of people in another neighborhood—much less others around the globe—can be invisible. Enacting justice and showing mercy require us to care for our brothers and sisters. Ask God to show you ways to care for the marginalized. What acts of mercy are you doing for your family and community?

Lord, help us to show mercy, and make us lovers of jus-tice, so that we can make an impact in this world for you. Amen.

About the author — Steven and Deb Koster

Steven and Deb Koster have a passion for marriages, families, and spiritual growth in the home. Both are ordained ministers in the Christian Reformed Church in North America. Steven formerly served as editor of Today and director of ReFrame's English-language outreach. Deb leads Family Fire, ReFrame’s family ministry at FamilyFire.com and on Facebook. The Kosters have three children.

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