Casting Crown has a song "Courageous" with a line from Micah "Seek justice, love mercy, walk humbly with your God". I wish it were that easy.
Act justly: What does is mean to act justly? Maybe it means to listen...no to hear what God is trying to tell us and not jump to conclusions? The Merriam-Webster dictionary lists the definition of justly (just) as: having a basis in or conforming to fact or reason: reasonable.
Reasonable? Using reason to communicate your ideas rather than allowing emotion to rule. I will admit that lately I have allowed emotion to rule rather than reason and it's brought me nothing but heartache. Why? Because I don't have the right answers. My emotions stem from the sin nature of humankind. I'm hurt; I want to lash out; I want someone to feel as wounded and vulnerable as me. That's not God's idea. I believe God wants us to allow Him to take control of any situation and allow Him to work. He knows best. He placed the stars and formed mountains. He created oceans and every living thing, so why is it so hard to give all our problems over to Him? Someone, please tell me! I really want to know why I give Him a portion of the problem then take it back because I think I can handle the situation so much better. I'm an idiot, that's why!
Love Mercy: Mercy....compassion....forbearance. Showing compassion when others don't deserve it was one of the greatest gifts of Jesus. I want to be compassionate. I want to understand and give comfort....then the sin nature steps in and while I still want to be compassionate I also want them to know how much they are hurting me. Wrong answer. That just blows compassion out of the water. I pray that the LORD will help me conquer the side of me that always wants to be right and replace it with compassion for others.
Walk humbly: This is a really tough one for me. It's so hard for me to allow myself to be vulnerable. It's so hard to accept humbleness and humility because so many see it as a sign of weakness, but it is actually the greatest outward showing of strength. Jesus walked humbly on the earth. He could have made himself a vast kingdom. He could have done any number of things yet He chose to live a humble, gentle life. When satan tempted Him He demonstrated strength and became an example of faith because he refused to cave to temptation. I don't know if I could have done that. My prideful self would have wanted to say, "Okay, satan old boy, watch this!" then perform some astounding feat (like flying off the top of the temple and dive bombing satan) just to shut him up! That's why I'm not Jesus....not even remotely close, but it is my desire to become more Christlike. It's what I struggle with daily and often fail miserably.
I have failed miserably in the last week. I do not take criticism well, especially when it is seasoned with anger. I have a temper; I'm not proud of that, but that's me. I'm working on controlling it, but like so many other things, I often fail miserably there, too. To make peace with God and to allow Him to work in my life, I have to listen....to hear....what He is telling me. I have to learn to keep my mouth shut, and anyone who knows me knows that's something that is very hard for me to do.
I need to remember the old proverb "Lord, fill my mind with righteous stuff and shut my mouth when I've said enough."