In a world full of injustice we are often tempted to believe that the answer to all our problems would be for everyone to simply get what they deserved: a good things come to those who do good sort of philosophy, together with an eye for an eye for those who do badly. Pretty simple, and fair.
Or so we think. The problem, however, is that injustice obscures our view of true justice, meaning that what we perceive to be right and fair compared to what actually is right and fair can become two totally different things. Take for instance my experience at work this week.
I had dropped by a job-site at around 7am to see if the house was going to be ready for painting within the next few days. There were work trucks and tradesman everywhere, so I parked my ute up on the grass and started talking to the concreter.
A few of the tradies' cars were parked on the side of the roadâturning a two lane road into one laneânot unusual around a job-site. The next minute two cars coming both ways had to stop and let each other through. No big deal. Until a young man sticks his head out of the window and screams angrily towards me, 'Move your f****** car out of the way!'
Shocked by his view of the severity of the situation, I looked his way and had a bit of a laugh, which he didn't like, causing him to stop in the neighbour's driveway and immediately jump out of his car and quickly make his way towards me threatening violence.
I let him come closer and calmly made him aware that there were about a dozen tradesmen on site and if he wanted to insist on finding the parking culprit, he was welcome to go ahead in his fit of rage, find them, and see what happens.
Upon seeing neither me or the concreter budge at his attempt at intimidation, and looking around to see a number of large men coming out to see the commotion, he suddenly had a change of heart concerning the situation. With the look of a whipped puppy he began to apologise before taking my advice to jump back in his car and get out of there.
This man was willing to take on 10 men at once for the injustice of having to stop and wait for a moment. Never mind war, terrorism, and the numerous atrocities the world currently deals with: this incident is the type of injustice that sends Australians over the edge every day!
All of us have experienced or seen freeway mergingâgoing from the merging lane onto the freeway. I enjoy having a big steel tray on my work ute, simply for the fact that when people try to block me from merging onto the highway in front of them (how unfair!), I win the standoffâit's amazing trying to stop anyone merging.
Still, some people are tempted to plough their bonnet into the side of my tray just so they can feel like I didn't jump the queue. For the record, merging onto the highway does not work like ticket counter lines, just because you are on the highway first does not mean people merging are jumping the queue when they get in front of you.
The answer to our problem is not our version of what is fairâlet's face it, we have a poor track record in that department.
Sermon on the mount
This is why I love Christ's sermon on the mount. He taught a higher moral code than the world had ever known, or will know. Christ doesn't teach us how to be better, or do good or improve ourselves, but how to be perfect; just as our Father in heaven is perfect. He sends rain on the just and the unjust, he loves those who love back and those who don't, He blesses those who deserve it and blesses those who don't.
That's God being Himself. That's what Christ did. This perspective enables Christianity to be a true beacon of justice in a world that no longer knows what justice is. The sermon on the mount was not given to be argued over whom it applies to, it was given to be done. It applies to the doers.
Every word of it can change a life or even a nation. Every action brings God's perfection into earth, and when perfection comes, injustice goes. When you look through history, look for the people who practised the teachings of Christ on the mountain: you will see the proof is in the pudding.
Just look at what Dr Martin Luther King Jnr accomplished during the American Civil Rights movement. One teaching of Christâturning the other cheek and non-retaliationâshowed the white man that not only was the African man not inferior to any other human, but the African man is capable of the divine, able to show a righteousness that far exceeded our own.
Justice is the result of behaving like God. One teaching of Christ put in practice and now America has an African American president. That is the power of Christ's peace. That, to me, is a fulfilment of the meek inheriting the earth.
When it comes to justice, let's not argue like Pharisees over petty interpretations of law, we have a higher righteousness. We have the light of God. Let's be like Him.
Joshua Robbie is from the Gold Coast Australia where he runs a painting and decorating business. He recently started a church fellowship with his wife Rene' in Currumbin Queensland. Though he has many interests, including basketball and surfing, he and Rene' have determined to give themselves in service to the kingdom of God in all aspects of life.
Josh Robbie's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/josh-robbie.html