Sometimes you feel pressure to say something about everything. With instant access to all types of media and information, we always have the opportunity to respond to something, but I want to make sure that everything I say is seasoned with truth and love. The only way for me to do this is to be slow to speak and prayerful in every situation.
“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.” —James 1:19-20
Recently, Kirsten and I have started partnering with IJM (International Justice Mission), supporting them in their fight to end slavery, violence, and human trafficking. We’re committing the next two years to helping fund their efforts and raise awareness of their mission. We’ve known about this organization for many years but never felt like the time was right to get involved until now. This past off-season we were able to reconnect with some of the IJM staff and when we did, both Kirsten and I felt like our quest for justice matched IJM’s.
Justice reaches further than only race relations and freedom of religion, it deals with human trafficking, killing unborn babies, and many other areas where we fight for what’s right. With so many issues to consider and opinions being offered, the only way for me to know what my responses should be is to be listening to the Holy Spirit within me.
Most of the time, my first reaction to something is not from the Holy Spirit. So whether I’m writing a piece about something going on, responding to a post, or getting involved with a mission, I first stop and wait to hear from the Lord. Before I take any action, I pray, “Lord, I really don’t know what I’ll say—I just want the right thing to come out of my mouth when I open it.” God’s Spirit gives us words to say at just the right time.
“Do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.” —Luke 12:11-12
We all have our own experiences and style from which we speak but I always wait until I have to say something or feel led by the Spirit to respond to something. If someone asks me to do something, I wait; if I feel it continue tugging on my heart, then I know the Spirit is giving me the green light to respond.
As Kirsten and I began actively seeking a way to become more involved in social justice, we prayed, “Lord, we want to stand for justice and extend ourselves—our time and our resources—more than we have been. We don’t know what that looks like but we know that You will bring opportunities to us. We will be waiting.” When after praying, we both had IJM on our hearts, I knew that it was from the Holy Spirit.
“‘Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches, but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know Me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,’ declares the Lord.” —Jeremiah 9:23-24
We want our family to be about kindness, justice, and righteousness. If there is anything that we can do to promote these three things, and God directs us do it, we want to be a part of it.
In seeking justice, I have seen God’s character become more and more real to me. When I read the above passage in Jeremiah, I see that God is not on the Left, and He’s not on the Right, He’s everywhere, and He desires to see justice won for all people.
God has a law that cannot be broken, yet His character is one of love, compassion, and righteousness. This truth challenges me to react in a loving way when I don’t agree with someone or the stance they are taking because I know that person is valuable in God’s eyes, and therefore, they are valuable to me. I want to be about kindness, justice, and righteousness. I want to be about the Gospel.
Benjamin Watson is a regular contributor to The Increase and will be providing monthly articles and opinions.
Check out Benjamin’s Increase profile here: https://theincrease.com/author/benjaminwatson/
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