“On the Balance Between Justice and Love”
If there is one thing that infuriates me, it is injustice. I hate it when cheaters win and when the upright lose. I hate it when hard work is done in vain and when laziness is rewarded. There is something about injustice that makes my stomach churn. I daresay that many people would agree with me.
Earlier today in the Jungle School in Honduras, two children were fighting over a pack of donuts. The first student said that the donuts belonged to him. The second student said that the donuts were rightfully his because he had won a bet and therefore the donuts. This problem seems uniquely childish, but upon reflection I came to think that it is representative of injustice. Almost always, injustice is a result of two different–and potentially irreconcilable–points of view. After talking to each kid, I’m absolutely certain that each of these children believed he was right.
Having established that each of the students was more-or-less genuine, I decided to read them a passage from the Bible. It was the following: “I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also;and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well;and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile.Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you,” (Matthew 5:39-42). Though I am no biblical expert, it seems that Jesus is telling his followers to allow injustice in order that love might prevail. I’m not sure what the students ended up doing with the donuts, but I hope that this reading touched their hearts.
It certainly touched mine. Many times I resist injustice for selfish purposes. I am too attached to my views or to my belongings. In childish terms I value the donuts and my pride more than I value Christ and the good of the other. Radical love brings people to Jesus, but selfishness rarely don’t. Therefore, let’s make an effort to “turn the other cheek” when a situation gets tough. Let’s show people that we take pride in Christ’s love, not ourselves or our belongings.
May God bless you in abundance.