Love and Justice

While reading Adam Hamilton’s devotional, “24 Hours That Changed the World: 40 Days of Reflection”, I was reminded of a powerful verse that should be a call to action.

In John 15:12, Jesus says, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”

Hamilton writes that carrying out this command requires us to stay connected to Christ. He writes, “If we remain connected to the Vine, pursuing practices that help us abide in Christ, we will bear fruit – not just praying, reading the Bible, worshiping, and giving, but demonstrating our love for others through out actions. This love is more than just warm affection; it is a willingness to put others before ourselves and to practice kindness, to do justice, to seek the good of others, and to bless.”

As I read that passage, I found myself thinking, “Yes! That’s it! This is what this journey of faith is supposed to be about. It’s not about warm fuzzies and feel-good religion. It’s about real love…active love…selfless love. It’s about putting others first. It’s about ‘practicing kindness’. It’s about doing justice. It’s about seeking ‘the good of others’. It’s about finding ways to bless those around us.”

It’s so easy to get caught up in a selfish pursuit of faith. We pray, we read, we go to church…all in an effort to make ourselves better people…all in an effort to make ourselves feel better about, well, ourselves. Maybe the best way to make ourselves better people is to live out lives of love. A faith that is void of loving others isn’t much of a faith at all. A faith that is void of the pursuit of justice doesn’t reflect a faith modeled after the life of Jesus.

Today, I want to live out this kind of love. Today, I want to put into action the words of Micah 6:8, “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

Wisdom from Lil Wayne

While reading the Lil Wayne interview in the latest issue of Rolling Stone, I found just a small piece of wisdom.

After briefly talking about migraines that seem to be a side effect of an accidentally shooting, Wayne said, “We’re here to live. We’re here to do, we’re here to be. And this here, this is what I’m doing, so I’m gonna do it. Because when it’s over, it’s over.”

So, I’m reading those words and found myself thinking, “Wow! Isn’t that what we say often say in the church? We’re here to live…we’re here to do…we’re here to be.”

We continually challenge people to discover what God is calling them to do…and then do it. We challenge people with the idea that life isn’t about sitting back and waiting for that one day, “when we all get to heaven.” We attempt to usher people toward action…to live…to do…to be.

The point where the church would disagree with Wayne is when he says, “When it’s over, it’s over.” The church would most likely proclaim, “when it’s over, it’s only beginning.”

Lil Wayne seems to understand that life is for living. Living is done best when we do what God has uniquely designed us to do. Living is done best when we attempt to become the people God desires us to be.

So, this morning, I find myself encouraged (by Lil Wayne, of all sources) to get out there and live, and do, and be.