I was reading a story the other day about a man who got mugged. The attackers escaped with all the possessions he had apart from his clothes. And what did the man do?
He thanked God that although they had stolen his belongings, they had not taken his life. He then thanked God that although the muggers had escaped with his possessions, they hadn’t beaten him up. He thanked God that they had left him his clothes.
Finally, the man thanked God that it was him who had been mugged and not him doing the mugging.
This story made me think about our work for justice. But for the grace of God, we are where we are. When I see injustice in the world, I think, “How can people be so cruel, enslaving and using the poor for their own selfishness?”
Corrupt regimes that oppress their citizens, slave traders, pimps, global corporations that exploit people and land. Outrageous. Maddening. Deeply sad.
But what corruption lives on in my own heart? When I examine it with help from the Holy Spirit, what greed cries out to demand my needs be met.
What exploitation I participate in as I buy goods that rely on the badly-paid labor of the poor. How freely I contribute to the climate change that consumes the lands of the vulnerable—those who can’t afford to mitigate against such climatic disaster.
How my country belongs to a group of Western nations that collect illegitimate debt from the poor. It takes effort to be bothered to investigate such things and fight injustice from the inside out, and sometimes I feel too weary to try.
Of course we should be outraged by the injustice we witness. But Lord, please change me, too.
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” —Matthew 7:3, NIV
Prayer: Holy Lord, please forgive us for any injustice we perpetuate, deliberately or without realizing it. Examine our hearts and make us pure, that we may bring glory to you and reflect your love for the poor in our actions and our hearts.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Vikki Davis works as a Communications Manager for Compassion UK.
Read all the One in Spirit devotionals.