Our society has been instant-cooking rice for years. Our microwaves, email, and hundreds of technological conveniences give us in minutes what previous generations took hours or even days to accomplish.
This has bled over into the way we decide who is right on a matter. With social media and 24-hour news stations, we are asked to do the same. We see a quick video, not even the whole thing, and we are asked to make hashtags, and post “justice for x” before knowing the whole matter.
If we are a society that wants justice, we need to understand that this will not produce justice. In fact, often, this could result in the opposite. If we deem someone guilty who is not, or someone innocent who is guilty, we have created an injustice. In our fever to make our voice heard and stand up for others, we can create injustice.
We need to understand that this is not the Christian way. The Christian idea of finding justice involves taking time to listen. James says, “know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger (1:19).” When we don’t take time to listen and find out the facts of a situation, we can become angry with the wrong person or make hasty assumptions.
We also need to make sure that we listen to everyone. It’s easy to say, “I sat with the person claiming to be wronged,” but if we don’t listen to both sides we can create an injustice. Proverbs 18:17 says, “The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.” In other words, if we only listen to one side of the story, we won’t have all of the facts. We must listen to everyone before making judgments.
Why is this wrong? Because we have not listened to all the information available. Proverbs 18:13 says, “If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.” Often people make judgment calls upon hearing whoever talks first. Then they hear the other side of the story and realize they didn’t have all of the information. We sided with the wrong person, and this made us look foolish.
Where can we make this practical in our lives? First, consider the news and social media. We see news stories and people making accusations on social media platforms. Make sure that we have all of the story first. Second, with our children. Children are always accusing one another of something. Make it a practice early to listen to both sides of the story if you were not witness to the grievance. Third, in relationships. This could be marriages or friendships. Often this is a struggle amongst people because they often take the side of the person they listened to first or the one who seems the most sincere. Our job isn’t to take the side of the person who makes the first accusation, but the side of truth.
Do you execute proper justice, or actually hurt it? Do you listen to both sides of a story before passing judgment? Are you taking time to evaluate everything we have heard in order for the truth to be known?
Thanks for taking time to read this Maddening Theology post. If you enjoyed this content you can find Pastor Tim’s sermons at www.cornerstoneforestcity.org. You can also join us at 520 Marion St. Browndale, PA 18421 on Sundays at 10 AM. To make following the blog easier you can also register. You can also join us on Facebook at Cornerstone Forest City. Also, don’t forget to download our APP on iTunes or Googleplay.