12 Days of Social Justice: Day 2

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“What is justice?  Will and Lisa Samson define justice as “acting right in our relationships,” and that’s as good a definition as any.  Gary Haugen also builds on the word right, and brings in the important dimension of power: justice is the right use of power, and injustice is the abuse of power.  Both definitions, of course, leave us wondering how we define right.  At this point, we as Christians refer to God.  Rightfair, and just, ultimately, are determined by and reflective of God. “So justice occurs on earth,” Gary Haugen says, “when power and authority between people is exercised in conformity with God’s standards of moral excellence.”  By restoring to God at this point, we need to be careful and humble because, as Scripture says, God’s ways are above our ways and God’s thoughts are above our thoughts.  We must acknowledge from the outset that we, like the Pharisees in the Gospels, can never underestimate our power to be wrong about God and God’s view of things.  We human being are famous for our adventures in missing the point, for straining at legal gnats and swallowing camels of injustice, for cleaning the outside of the cup with detergent while leaving the inside full of salmonella.” – Brian McLaren, The Justice Project (pages 20-21)


  • In what relationships are you “acting right”?
  • What relationships could you create/seek out in order to bring about justice or “act right”?
  • It hurts to be compared to the Pharisees, but in what areas are you possibly wrong about God?  Maybe not even wrong, just not fully believing God and His promises?
  • Do you ever feel like you cleaned “the outside of the cup with detergent while leaving the inside full of salmonella”?  In what ways?

Apply/Action: Many may already be aware of this resource, but it is crucial that we are aware of what our own impact is on the world around us.  Check out Slavery Footprint (www.slaveryfootprint.org) to find out how you may be unknowingly supporting slave labor.


  • Pray that God would open our minds to new aspects and definitions of justice so that we would be more in line with God
  • Pray for opportunities to “act right” in our relationships
  • Pray for humility and grace as we realize our wrong way of thinking about justice

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