Hear, you Israelites: Is my way unjust? Is it not your ways that are unjust? (Ezek. 18:25)
Expanded Passage: Ezekiel 18:24-26
Perhaps it was due to my German Scottish heritage, but I had a short temper as a child. I was especially quick to notice unfairness, and on occasion I could respond . . . impulsively.
Sometimes my sense of justice was well-founded, as when my sister experienced bullying. I was eight years old; my sister was twelve. When our teenage cousin slapped my sister on her back, knocking the wind out of her, I jumped on my cousin’s shoulders, ripped out his hair, and yelled, “Leave my sister alone!” He tried to shake me off; but I was small and wiry, and he could not rid himself of me. Under the threat of unrelenting pain, he promised never to hurt my sister again.
Another time, however, I was the bully. I don’t recall what my sister did, but whatever it was, it made me so angry that I taped a pin to her bed. She sat on it. I felt remorse after the fact, and she eventually accepted my apology; however, decades later, neither of us has forgotten my spiteful act.
As human beings, our sense of justice is subjective and imperfect, no matter how “fair” we think we are or try to be. God alone understands the deepest motives of the heart; therefore, he is the only one who can be trusted to judge fairly and respond appropriately.
Trust that the Lord’s ways are just and fair.
Laura Hurd is an ordained minister in The Wesleyan Church and holds a master’s degree from Wesley Seminary. She copastors with her husband, Jason, in rural Nebraska.
© 2023 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.