Here’s Micah 6:8 in first person, as if God himself were saying it. “I’ve shown you, O mortal (O Debbie), what is good. And what do I require of you? To act justly and love mercy and walk humbly with me.”
And here’s me, to God: “But don’t you care about my stance on (fill in the blank) issue?”
And here’s God’s reply, in my imagination: “Absolutely, because you’re massively important to me, so what I really want is for you to act justly and love mercy and walk humbly with me.”
Fast forward to this morning. I was thinking through the midterms and checking out candidates’ websites. I have criteria, but it comes down to this. Does the candidate act justly and love mercy and walk humbly? Maybe there’s something to be said for doing all three. They’re connected by “and,” not “or.”
At first glance, God’s requirement seems too simple to be effective. But what if we really regarded these words seriously for ourselves and the candidates? On EACH issue, what if we were to ask ourselves “what is just?” AND “what is merciful?”? This would affect how we deal with abortion, immigration, war, poverty, and pretty much everything.
And we can’t forget about humility. It’s part of the trifecta.
Maybe we’re so stuck on justice, we miss the mercy. Or so stuck on mercy that we miss the justice. (We tend to want mercy for ourselves but justice for others.) Walking humbly with God might be the secret to the whole thing. Maybe there are solutions we haven’t thought of yet. Maybe it’s possible to be just AND merciful AND humble.
Then there’s this. James 2:12-13. “Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.”
It can get complicated…or it can be easy. It can be a measuring stick for self and the candidates we’re considering, but it might take a walk to figure it all out.