Blaming Others

A problem that emerges in most relationships involves upsets between two or more people.  Having wisdom about those upsets and what is really going on thus becomes very powerful in making those relationships work better.

A tell-tale sign of wrong attitudes in relationships is that process of blaming others.  Accusing and blame shifting are common practices when people are in tension about something.

We are all familiar with the example of a mother calling out in an angry tone, “Who brought this mud into the house?”

And we are all familiar with the chorus of voices saying, “It wasn’t me!”

Getting upset, and doing what we can to avoid trouble are two automatic processes that often get built into our interpersonal communications.

Properly Interpret What is Going On

When we have an idea about something we can be very reluctant to change our mind.  This is especially so if the new perspective suggests we are wrong or have a problem.

The whole “blame shifting” routine kicks in if someone tries to suggest that we are a cause of trouble.  We don’t like to be wrong and we don’t like to be accused, or exposed for our weaknesses.

In highly competitive contexts we may be very strong in asserting our innocence or trying to cover up our failures.

These human tendencies, based on our pride, become deeply ingrained and some people become famous for their readiness to accuse others or to make up excuses.  For example, alcoholics are famously recognised for their ability to cover for their addiction and failures.

It is important for our own health and the health of our relationships that we properly interpret what is going on in our relationships.

Different Perspectives

Consider the difference in perspective that could be applied in the following statements.

“You often upset me and it takes me days to get over it.”

Or alternatively it might be more accurate to say: “I get into moods about things and take days to get over it.”

“You upset me so you must be wrong.”

This might be better stated as: “I get upset by you, so there is something about my reactions that is not right.”

The Real Issues

Since our true “issues” are not what others do or say but how we react, then it is wrong for us to blame others for the mood we are in, or for our responses.  It is what comes out of us that defines the “issues” we have to deal with.

In an earlier article titled Issues of Life, posted on 1/10/11, I discussed a powerful Bible text that exposes what the real issues are in our lives.

“Keep your heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23

This verse tells us that the real “issues” of our life are not what people say or do to us, but what comes out of our heart.  Our responses and reactions define the issues, and in fact ARE the true issues.

Natural Impulse

When a parent gets upset with his or her child, when a husband or wife gets upset with their spouse, or a child is upset by their sibling, the automatic assumption is that the other person is wrong because it seems to the one who is upset that the other person caused it.

It is counter-intuitive to think that we are upset because of our own choices and the weaknesses of our own personality.

Yet the Biblical truth is that it is what comes out of us that is the problem, not what was said or done to us.

What happens to us could well be injustice and wrong.  I am not saying that if we are abused it is our fault.  People hurt and offend others and we all suffer at the hands of others in some way.

This discussion is about the tendency we have to get into a mood, or some other form or “reaction” toward another, that is really our own responsibility.

Touchy People

Some people have a “hair-trigger” and readily react toward others. They are so ‘touchy’ that others have to walk on egg-shells in order to avoid being at the receiving end of a tirade from that upset person.

This is the substance of manipulation, oppression, abuse of others, control, emotional abuse, imposing self-will onto others, belittling, etc.

People who indulge in such activity are out of order.  They have “issues” in their own heart and mind.  However they may be able to justify their outbursts, accusations, anger, sharp tongue or other attacks on others without realising they are the oppressor, not the one they are blaming.

Loving Others

This self-delusion, while intuitive, is destructive and a failure to “love others” and to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”, which is the Golden Rule given to us by Jesus Christ.

“As you would that men should do to you, do you also to them likewise.” Luke 6:31

In fact, it may be that a central purpose of the two great commandments, to love God with our whole being and to love our neighbour as ourself, is to force us to realisations that we would be blind to if we thought the world revolved around us.

“And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength: this is the first commandment.  And the second is like, namely this, You shall love your neighbour as yourself. There is none other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30,31

Maybe God’s intention in giving us His laws is not to enslave us to His will, but to lead us into revelation truth about ourselves that will set us free from folly and shame.

So, next time you hear yourself expressing your exasperation, disapproval, anger, frustration, resentment, jealousy, contempt, prejudice, unforgiveness, intolerance, demands, despisement and similar rubbish toward someone else, even if only in your thoughts, stop and realise that YOU HAVE “ISSUES”.

By reflecting on what you are thinking and why you are doing it you can be led into health and release you don’t presently have.

Example

In my family seminars I share the account of my early married life when I found myself readily annoyed and frustrated with my first-born son, Stephen.  Susan and I were parents shortly before our fist wedding anniversary and had three children born in short order.

One day I realised that I was particularly hard toward my oldest son, and much more lenient toward the two other boys.  It struck me that I was being unfair on him.  For some reason I caught myself out being biased against him when it came to rebuke and discipline.

I could justify my reactions by saying, “He’s the oldest so he should know better”, but I sensed there was a deeper issue at work.

I prayed about the matter, confessing my evident bias and asking God to show me what was wrong and what to do.

As I reflected on the situation it struck me that I resented my son.  He was the first baby and therefore the first child to take my wife away from me.  Susan had to care for the baby, and she had various health challenges along the way.  A baby completely changed our married life and reduced our time together and or intimacy.  Unconsciously I held Stephen responsible for how that impact on me.

Having realised the impact of a baby I was far less reactive to the impact of my next two sons.  So my “issue” was only with Stephen.

Once I realised that situation I was able to pray about it, confessing my selfish responses and attitudes, asking God to forgive me and to heal my heart attitude toward my son.

Some time later I realised to my delight that I had a fresh relationship with my son.  I did not feel any of the hardness of heart that had been there before and I enjoyed him as I had not been able to before.

Set Free by Truth

My experience is a testimony to the veracity of God’s Word, which tells us that when we know truth that truth liberates us.

“And you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” John 8:32

So I share these insights with you, in the trust that you will refer back to God’s Word and allow God’s Truth to settle in your heart and set you free.

Your problem, as is common to all humanity, is that we will prefer to believe a lie, if it gives hides our pride, lust, self-will and shame.  You will tend to justify your actions, including your selfish and angry responses to others.  You will like the idea that THEY are to blame, not you.

I can only pray that the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be upon you, to change your heart and cause you to step into the wonderful freedom that is available to you.

Woman Beware

As a dad and as a pastor giving guidance to young people I have written very little for young women.  Following the pattern of King Solomon in his instructions to his son, I am starting out with some cautions.  And much of what I share here comes from the wisdom of Solomon.

The Heart of the Matter

For all of us the heart is the “heart of the matter”.  Our actions are less significant in God’s eyes than our motives.  So any guidance to youth is really guidance for their heart.  This is particularly so for young women who can be distracted by externals, such as their own appearance or competing with the beauty of others.

King Solomon instructs us to be very diligent in protecting our heart, because the reactions of our heart become the “issues” we have to live with and deal with in our lives.

“Keep your heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23

“Solomon my son, know the God of your father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searches all hearts, and understands all the imaginations of the thoughts: if you seek him, he will be found of you; but if you forsake him, he will cast you off for ever.”  1Chronicles 28:9

Womanly Issues

From my counselling experience and from my reading of the Bible I am aware of several issues which women are likely to struggle with.  I want to draw them to your attention with the caution that these areas deserve careful consideration to keep the heart free.

I note, for example, that women are more concerned about security and preparation for the future than their husbands often are.  I note, too, that women want to feel “loved” and yet their husbands can often neglect them without realising it.  I also note that women can fall into contention, argument and having the last word, when they are upset with their husbands.

Then there is the reflection about womanhood that I once heard from Iverna Thompkins.  She observed to a large group of women that men tend to have a pigeonhole for everything – from work, to the kids, to the car, wife, dog, etc.  A man can therefore shut off to his unhappy thoughts or feelings about work (or some other issue) when he faces something that is not in that pigeonhole, such as playing with his children.

Iverna observed that women operate differently.  “For us girls,” she observed, “it’s just ONE BIG HOLE!” What she meant is that if a woman is upset about one thing her feelings spill over to everything else as well.

This leads to the observation that women must pay attention to Solomon’s advice to gain “rule over your own spirit”.

“He that has no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.” Proverbs 25:28

Proverbs 31 Woman

It is often observed that the last chapter in the book of Proverbs provides a description of an ideal woman.  Many women, therefore, take note of that description and try to match the various qualities, such as rising early, running a home business, and so on.

Let me remind you that it is not our actions but our heart that is the heart of the matter.  Despite the many activities described there, the key verse for women is not about wool, flax, food, enterprise or rising early.  The key verse is about the heart.

“Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that fears the LORD, she shall be praised.”  Proverbs 31:30

The true “Proverbs 31 Woman” is defined by a heart to fear the Lord.

So let me point out how having such a heart makes you a very rare woman indeed.

Humility and Faith

I believe the two most powerful qualities a young woman can develop, and which will save her from the many traps that womankind falls into, are humility and faith.

Pride is a terrible thing in a woman because it leads her to fight and argue with her husband, which is the very opposite of being submissive and fitting in with his plans.  Let me show you how that works.

A contentious woman is proverbial, both in modern society and in the Bible.  King Solomon made repeated references to how terrible it is to be around a woman who is contentious.

“It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.”  Proverbs 21:19

“… the contentions of a wife are a continual dropping.” Proverbs 19:13b

Putting up with a contentious woman is like Chinese water torture!

So where do contentions come from?  Contention is evidence of Pride!

Only by pride comes contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.”  Proverbs 13:10

And a fruit of pride is that people look down on others, scorning them, and holding them in contempt.  That’s why getting rid of a “scorner” removes contention.  Scorn is an evidence of pride of heart.

Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease.”  Proverbs 22:10

Scorning the Husband

One of my lovely daughters-in-law related a few years ago how she attended a ladies group in her church and all the women did was complain about their husbands.  These young wives held their husbands in contempt.  They “scorned” them.  This means they had pride in their own heart about how much better they, as women, were, compared with their husbands.

When a wife lectures her husband, scolds him, belittles him, treats him like a naughty schoolboy, takes control over him and the like, she is in pride and is scorning her husband.

Yet it seems very easy for a woman to do that.  So beware of your heart.

Wives are commanded to submit to and honour their husband.  If you do not rule your heart properly you will probably find contentions coming from you because you scorn your husband.

The Place of Faith

I mentioned the need for both humility and faith.  I have shown that humility is important, to neutralise pride that leads to scorning and contention.  So, what about faith?

Wives are instructed to submit to their husband.  Yet many wives struggle with the lack of care, wisdom and planning they see in their husbands.

Because women are geared toward a need for security, the impulsive, undisciplined actions of her husband can make a woman fearful.  From that place of fear, combined with scorn for her husband’s lack of care for her, a woman can take control of the home and family, so she will feel secure.

This is where “faith” comes in.  Since it is God who commands the woman to submit, she must seek to do so with all her heart.  If she is insecure in the abilities and thoughtfulness of her husband, then she must focus her faith on God, not her husband.

A wife may pray something like this: “Lord, I know You want me to submit to my husband.  But he is so irresponsible and I am afraid for myself and our children.  He wastes money and makes decisions on impulse, despite all the times I try to get him to grow up!  But Lord, I want to worship You by obeying Your instructions.  So I choose to submit to my husband and honour him.  I do this as an act of faith in You.  I give You my fears and my needs.  I ask You to protect me from my husband’s foolishness.”

Such a prayer places the woman’s faith where it is supposed to be; on God, not the husband.

Out of Order

The ideal woman is one who fears the Lord (Proverbs 31:30), and rules her own spirit, having both humility and faith.  So what is a woman like if she does not follow this wisdom?

A woman who does not fear God allows her pride and fear control her, so she then seeks to control the man and children in her life.  This is where we get the idea of the matriarch who rules the family, or the woman who makes her husband a “hormone hostage”.

Manipulation and control are a ready pitfall for a woman who is out of order.  King Solomon has a description of such a woman.

“And I find more bitter than death the woman whose heart is snares and nets, and her hands as bands: the one who pleases God will escape from her; but the sinner will be taken by her.”  Ecclesiastes 7:26

Note that a man will feel like it is better to be dead than to live with such a woman.  That has echoes of the comment about living in the desert rather than putting up with a contentious woman.

I have had to counsel both men and women who struggled with the manipulation and control of a mother or wife.  Such control is more than just emotional, it is devilish, because it is rebellion against the will of God.

Witchcraft in the Home

While a godly woman is a most wonderful thing, a rebellious and contentious woman is a bitter thing.  However the deeper danger is the spiritual curse such a woman can bring in a marriage and home.  So let me add this observation to caution your heart.

A woman driven by fear, pride, scorn, self-will and an out of control heart will be in rebellion against God and he husband.  And “rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft”.

“For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.”  1Samuel 15:23a

If a wife was to practice witchcraft in the home then spiritual oppression would come upon her, her husband and the family.  So, when a wife practices rebellion against God’s instruction to submit to her husband, she also brings spiritual oppression upon herself, her husband and the family.

This is part of the “snares and nets” problem a woman can be in a home.

What is Ruling You?

If a wife gives in to her impulses, fears, pride or reactions, she will be out of control.  She will not be under God’s headship, nor will she be under her husband’s headship.  Instead she will be ruled by her fears and other things that are ungodly.

If she then tries to contend, manipulate, control, argue and the like she is exalting that wrong spirit over the home.  Her husband should not give in to her, otherwise he is saying to Jesus, “You can’t be the head of this home right now, because my wife wants that spirit of anger to rule her and me.”

A wise husband will resist his wife’s manipulation and control, tantrums, outbursts, verbal attacks, contentions or the like, because he wants Jesus to remain as the head of the home, not some out of order attitude or spirit that wants to rule through the wife.

A Good Thing

Don’t think that these cautions mean women are terrible or evil.  All men and women have fallen short of God’s glory.  The challenge for each of us is to be holy as our God is holy.  For women that involves some challenges different to men, and vice versa.

It is God’s favour to give you as a godly wife to a man the Lord blesses.

Whoever finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favour of the LORD.”  Proverbs 18:22

Godly women want to be a blessing.  And you are.  You are a gift to your husband.

Note, as a final word of caution, that you are a blessing when you are a “wife”.  A woman who is married to a man but acts as his superior, boss, mother, manipulator, jailer or the like is not his “wife”.  Being married to a man makes you a wife in human terms, but not according to God’s plan.

I call upon each of you to be a godly wife, by living in humility and faith and the fear of God, ruling your own spirit, so you do not give in to fear, pride, scorn, manipulation, control or any other thing that leads to rebellion against God.

And may the Lord bless you as you do.

Justice for Dummies 3 Possession

While all true justice is based on God’s holiness it is also deeply linked to possession of property, or ownership.  The two concepts of perfection and possession undergird most of what we think of as justice, and the two go hand in hand because one springs from the other.

Possession

True justice is based on the concepts of perfection and possession (property) and these two are interlinked.  So let us now take a look at how property fits into the understanding of justice.

In the Bible example used in Justice for Dummies 1, two women came to King Solomon with a live baby and a dead baby.  The two women both claimed the live baby as theirs.  Right there we have the matter of possession of “property”.

The dispute that had to be settled was “whose PROPERTY was the live baby”.

So, you see, property is a key issue in justice.

Stealing Houses

Jesus Christ challenged the unjust legal activity of the religious leaders in His day, by pointing out that they would steal homes from powerless people.  He referred to them stealing houses from widows.

“Beware of the scribes, which desire to walk in long robes, and love greetings in the markets, and the highest seats in the synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts; Which devour widows’ houses, and for a show make long prayers: the same shall receive greater damnation.” Luke 20:46,47

It is not uncommon for people to use the courts in order to get possession of things they want.  In fact, so much of the modern court system is devoted to claiming property (or money) that the courts are identified by the amount of money they are allowed to judge over.  If your claim is for a certain amount of money then it will be pursued in a different court to someone claiming a much smaller or larger amount of money.

Getting possession of things is a major component of court activity.

God Owns the Earth

Before trying to navigate through the temporary issues of who gets what you need to consider the deeper, underlying “property” issue that impacts all justice.  Someone will win or lose a case for some amount of money, but that is a transient transaction.  In time both winner and loser in court will be dead, and so will the judge.  But true justice has been here from the beginning and will outlast any amount of money won in court.

The underlying “Property” issue is that God owns everything!

The earth is the LORD’S, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.” Psalm 24:1

So, before we consider the individual property claims, take note that God has the ultimate property claim in the highest courts in the universe.

Stealing From God

Believe it or not, one of the greatest deceptions of today’s courts is based on property, and it is the matter of people stealing things from God.

I will get to that in a later lesson, but take note that the matter possession of property is a profound one that does have incredible significance to the way you respond to courts and claims you make or that are made against you.

For now, let me point out that if the “earth is the Lord’s” and all the people “that dwell therein”, then God has a claim over you and all you own.  God holds that claim from the original creation.  Because God made the world, God owns the world.  Because God made mankind, God owns mankind.  Because God made you, God owns you.  It’s as simple as that.

Ownership and Justice

Judicial process takes place when a court is empowered by a claim.  The most powerful claim is related to the claim of ownership.

To come to a court you must “own” something.  You may own a tangible object, such as a car or amount of gold, or you may own an intangible thing, like a right or a position.

If you go to court claiming you saw someone steal goods from another person that claim is ignored.  The one who suffered theft, being the owner of the thing stolen, must go to the court and press charges.  If the person who owned the goods refuses to press charges then there is no power in the court to do anything.  Thus ownership is a key component of justice.

When what you “own” has been stolen from you or damaged by another you are able to go to the court and make claim against the one who has wronged you.  The court cannot take action against an evil-doer until and unless someone who has the right to claim (the owner) makes a claim against that evil one.

Your property gives you the power to make claims in court.

God’s Power in Justice

Since God owns everything, how much right does God have to bring judgement?

God owns everything, because He made it.  God owns the earth and everyone living on it.

So God’s right to judge and declare just decisions is absolute.  There is no claim anyone can make against God’s judgement.  Not only is God perfect, God has absolute property rights when it comes to judgement and justice.

That’s why we see in the Bible that God brings judgement upon the world and in the end of the world everyone will have to stand before God and give account of their life.

God has the right to sentence us to hell or to grant us complete forgiveness because of our faith in Jesus Christ.  You may not like His judgement or His right to make that judgement, but you are powerless to resist.

You may even choose to delude yourself that believing in something other than God will make God disappear.  But God has every right to set the holy standard by which you will be judged and to bring everything you do and say into judgement.

We saw in the last lesson that everyone has failed to meet God’s high standard of personal holiness.

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23

You will one day have to account even for the things you mutter under your breath.

“But I say to you, That every idle word that men speak, they will give account thereof in the day of judgment.” Matthew 12:36

Perfection in Judgement

What is wonderful about God is that He is perfect.  He must judge us according to His holy standards, but He also must apply His personal character quality of “love” into our lives.

Rather than just obliterate us all because we do not rise to God’s holy standards, God sent Jesus to pay the penalty for us in advance.  Jesus took on Himself all the sins of all people on planet earth through all of human history.

Thus God can uphold His just and holy character, without wavering, but also acquit us on completely just grounds.  If the penalty has been paid then we can be released from obligation.

All we have to do to receive what is there in a credit account for us is put our faith in Jesus Christ, making Him both our saviour and lord.

When we do that justice is completely satisfied.  Holiness is maintained.  And Love is fully released into our lives.  God’s character is engaged with our existence in profound ways, making the sacrifice of Jesus worthwhile and productive.

When we reject God we simply remain in the condemned state we were in before we knew about Him.  Justice is satisfied.  Love has been rejected and so it does not reach us.

Perfection and Possession

I said earlier that perfection and possession go hand in hand.  They are intertwined.  Let me explain what I mean.

God has ownership over us because He created us.

God is perfect and holy in His own character.

The one who “owns” us has the right to demand the standards He will expect of us.  The only standard God can impose is that of His own holiness.

So, by being God’s possession we are accountable to God’s perfection.  There is no wriggling room.  God is holy and He owns us.  So perfection is the only quality He can bring upon us and the only standard He can measure us by.

If we were made by some inferior being, or made by ourselves, then God’s holy standards could be ignored.  But, sadly for our selfish and sinful nature, that is not how it is.

Justice For Dummies 2 Perfection

We saw in the first lesson on Justice for Dummies that justice has to do with finding what is right (or “just), not what is fair or what seems best at the time.

To help you better understand justice and what you should expect from an effective justice system, this lesson explores a foundational anchor for justice, being “perfection”.

True justice is measured against an unchanging benchmark, which is perfection.

In the Beginning God…

The first statement of law in our world is found in the first sentence of a holy book written by an eighty year old prophet who had met face to face with God.  His five books, known as the Pentateuch (Five Volumes) and as the Torah (Teaching/Law), present the basis of all English Law.  After meeting with God on Mount Sinai in Arabia almost three thousand five hundred years ago, Moses wrote the law of God in five books which form the basis of Jewish scriptures and which are the first five books of the Old Testament section of the Holy Bible which Christians rely on.

So Moses’ first sentence is the foundational truth upon which Jewish religion and Christianity stand.  The Moslem world reveres Moses (whom they call Musa) and venerates the Bible while also challenging its accuracy when the Koran differs from it.  But the Moslem world has no challenge to Moses’ first sentence.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” Genesis 1:1

Perfection

The Holy Bible repeatedly describes the character of God as perfect.  Terms used to convey this truth include holy, holiness, righteousness, perfect, upright and just.

“For I am the LORD that brings you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: you will therefore be holy, for I am holy.” Leviticus 11:45

“Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say to them, You will be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy.” Leviticus 19:2

“Be you therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Matthew 5:48

“Judge me, O LORD my God, according to your righteousness; and let them not rejoice over me.” Psalm 35:24

Your righteousness also, O God, is very high, who has done great things: O God, who is like you!” Psalm 71:19

“God reigns over the heathen: God sits on the throne of his holiness.” Psalm 47:8

Good and upright is the LORD: therefore will he teach sinners in the way.” Psalm 25:8

Defining Perfection

Perfection is a moral description of personal character.  I like the way Pastor Jack Hayford, of Church on the Way, California explained it to me back in the early 1970’s.  He said that God is “perfect” and “holy” because there is no imbalance in Him.

Pastor Jack pointed out that if an arrow or frisbee, rocket or other projectile was out of balance in the slightest degree then it would veer off course.  Only a “perfect” arrow could fly for thousands or millions of miles and not creep a degree to the left of right.

The more imperfect an arrow, frisbee or projectile is the more quickly it flies off course and crashes into something.  A wobbly arrow will not hit the mark.

So, imagine God’s perfection that He can start on a course of action and stick with it, despite all that might distract Him, for millennia after millennia.

Imperfect Man

Contrast the perfect holiness of God with how people behave.  How often do people get distracted, drop their New Year resolutions, break their vows, or get drawn away by their laziness, lust, ego, inquisitiveness or the like?

Man is challenged to rise in character above the foibles of “self” focus, to live by higher and holier standards.  God is the ultimate example of the perfection we are called to, because God is absolutely perfect and will never veer off course.

Man can be intimidated, dissuaded, distracted, overwhelmed, burned out or defeated, but God is perfect.  You can’t intimidate God, discourage Him, distract Him, overwhelm Him or defeat Him.  And God calls all men and women to be holy, just as He is holy.

No Turning

To amplify Pastor Jack Hayford’s description of holiness as the kind of perfection that does not take something off course, consider these other Bible verses that describe God.

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” James 1:17

“For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore you sons of Jacob are not consumed.” Malachi 3:6

And the ultimate indictment or charge against man is that everyone has gone off course, missed the mark and not reached the standard of God’s glory.

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23

Perfect Justice

To bring this discussion back to “justice” let me point out that justice is measured by God.  Justice can be perfect when it comes from a perfect being.

Justice is not fairness, or the best compromise under the circumstances.  True justice is anchored in the character of God, Himself.  True Justice is based on perfection of motive, perfection of character and perfection of judgement that does not change over time or from one case to another.

Human justice systems are a poor reflection of God’s justice and judgement.  But their inability to be as high and holy as God is, does not excuse them from being unjust, abusive, deceptive, prejudicial, or any such thing.

Injustice

When a judge is biased, or has been paid a bribe, or uses different standards under different circumstances there is injustice.

God rebuked the Israelites for having a bag full of different weights.  If they were selling to one customer they might use a lighter weight on the scale than when selling to another customer.  The customer would assume they had the correct weight, but the actual metal weight put on the scale was unjust.

“You are not to have in your house diverse measures, a great and a small.” Deuteronomy 25:14

“Diverse weights, and diverse measures, both of them are equally an abomination to the LORD.” Proverbs 20:10

A Heart Matter

True holiness is seen in our actions but it starts in our heart.  So to be truly just and holy we must have pure motives.  When we have ulterior motives we are not perfect and holy and our judgement will be distorted by that.

Just this morning a friend brought to me the transcript of a court case in which a judge clearly stated that he was glad he had past a sentence against people who drive in a particular fashion because he personally can’t stand such drivers.

The judge betrayed clear personal bias, and that affected his judgement.  The matter was not as the judge assumed it, but the judge was blinded by his own “unjust” prejudices.

God is pure in His heart.  God has no impure motives.  Men who engage in delivering justice must maintain the highest standards of holiness internally.  If they don’t, they will err in judgment because they will give in to the imperfect attitudes in their heart.

These impure attitudes are based on “self”.  Our preferences, prejudices, likes and dislikes are “ours”!  They spring from “self”.  When we are completely impartial we are not given to personal bias.

This is what is supposed to be symbolised by the image of justice as a blindfolded person holding scales.  They are meant to be impartial toward the people being judged, rather than allowing personal bias to interfere with the judgment.

Holy Judgement

Let me summarise by reminding you that the ultimate foundation of justice is perfection.  It is not man’s perfection, but God’s perfection that undergirds all justice.

God is holy and just.  God demands that mankind be holy and just.

Man’s justice must be based on God’s holiness, or it will not be justice at all.