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When Justice and Mercy Require More

“What does the Lord require of you? To seek justice, love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8

Memphis is the poorest city in the country.
Memphis has the sixth highest infant mortality rate in the country.
Memphis is the twelfth most violent metropolitan area in the country.
Memphis is also where Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot.

Since moving here, I have a raised awareness of the brutality of the 1960s Civil Rights struggle and the lingering impact of inequality. I have ambled the halls of the Civil Rights Museum on two occasions and I wish I could say it were a dozen.

Every trip there stirs my heart.

Every visit calls to a place deep within.

God’s presence in my life authenticates these feelings. God seeks justice. He loves mercy. He wants us to be the same.

On my most recent trip to the Civil Rights Museum, I noticed this quote by Medger Evers, the Civil Right activist slaughtered in Jackson, Mississippi at the height of conflict…

“It’s not enough to just sit here tonight and voice your approval and clap your hands and shed your tears and sing and then go out and do nothing about this struggle. Freedom has never been free…I love my wife with all my heart. And I would die, and die gladly, if that would make a better life for them.”

…he was shot and killed five days later.

We all like to cheer for the underdog. We salute those who sacrifice to make a discernible impact on society. But do we truly seek justice? Do we love mercy?

To seek justice would mean we didn’t just wait for the disadvantaged to wander into our path. We would intentionally walk where they walk and live where they live. We give more than a token of money. We would offer our hearts, lives and time.

To love mercy would require the evocation of my comfort. I would have to stop cheering when others got what they deserved and start celebrating when they didn’t. Loving mercy would ask me to give far more of myself than I’ve been willing.

I wonder. Will we sit, cheer, voice our approval, clap and sing? Or will we dare to live as Christ walked. Seeking justice. Loving mercy. Walking humbly with our God.

Question:  What does Micah 6:8, “…to seek justice, love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” mean to you in our life?  Share your comment by clicking here.

Photo Credit: The Bright Life

AboutShannon Milholland

Shannon is a morning runner, an afternoon carpooler and all-day lover of Jesus.  She is the author of Jesus & My Orange Juice, a fresh-squeezed oasis for ordinary living. She finds joy among piles of laundry and miles of carpools and delights in leading others to this place of contentment in life. She presents the gift of prayer in her free 30 day prayer guide PrePrayed: Preparing for Life’s Events. She is a frequently published author. Most recently, she was a contributing author to Always There: Reflections for Moms on God's Presence.  As a speaker, Shannon is straight forward about her own struggles. She is a compassionate advocate fighting for victory in the life of her audience with a message of hope and encouragement.  When not writing or speaking, she enjoys her favorite job of wife to Scott and mom to four daughters from preschool to high school.
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  1. Shannan, This is one of my all time favorite verses. I love how you put it in action. Thanks! ~H

    1. Thanks, Heidi. Ever since that Courageous song came out, it scrolls through my mind regularly.

  2. Luke 3:11 “He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise.”

    It is not enough that we feel for someone. We are called to action. to give, to walk along side, to serve. John the Baptist said this before Jesus was revealed to him.

    Jesus never said any different. As a matter of fact, He took it farther when He said “Love God with all your heart, your soul, your mind AND love your neighbor AS yourself.” Luke 10:27

    Great post. Thank you for reminding me that I can always DO more. I can love God by loving His people. I can walk justly by serving His people. I can do this with a servant’s heart: in humility.

    Lord may I never forget that your heart is not just for me, but for every man, woman and child. Break my heart for what breaks your’s Lord!

    1. With an election upcoming it’s easy to talk about problems but God doesn’t want talk. He wants action.

  3. Sharon Fields says:

    To act justly, love mercy and walk humbly means this to me: If I see a “good” fight, I’m required to get in it. While in that fight, show mercy and love; and do my fighting humbly without blame or condemnation.

    I love you sis,
    Sharon Avery-Fields

    1. Love this, Sharon! Thanks for sharing your wise perspective!

  4. Michelle says:

    I love the “Courageous’ song you are talking about as well. I need to get my butt in gear!

    1. Isn’t it amazing how seeking justice and loving mercy gotten woven into a song called Courageous? Courage is definitely required to live an upside-down, God-honoring life. :)

  5. Amy Alves says:

    Wow, to surrender daily all of me and anywhere He sends me! Good questions Shannon. I appreciate you! ~ Blessings out, Amy

    1. Girl, can I tell you how much I love that ending…blessings out? It’s like a cool Christian phrase. I picture you saying it with sunglasses on! :)

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