“He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you except to be just, and to love [and to diligently practice] kindness (compassion), and to walk humbly with your God [setting aside any overblown sense of importance or self-righteousness]?” Micah 6:8 Amplified Bible
Any job comes with responsibilities and expectations. From selling Christmas trees as a young teen to pastoring years later … there were always job descriptions. They were designed not only to make sure the work got done, but to give you a standard to measure your progress (or lack thereof!)
As a husband, father, grandfather, uncle, etc. there are roles I’m expected to play … duties I’m expected to perform. Add the ongoing spiritual element in my life, and it all can get very complex and confusing at times. What is expected of me in this role … in this situation?
“And so, Lord,” I asked recently, “could you bring me up to speed on the things you are expecting of me? I’ll get some paper and a pen and begin writing them down. I want to make sure I’m doing this ‘pleasing the Lord’ thing right.”
I almost sensed him chuckling as He said, “Oh, I don’t think you’ll need a lot of paper for my instructions. They’re actually pretty simple . Just three things are on my “To Do” list for you. Act justly, love mercy and walk humbly before me.”
I’m always floored when I read this verse. Could these three instructions cover all the necessary requirements for living right and pleasing God? It almost seems too simple. Yet each has far reaching implications in everything we do and say.
1. Do justly. Not just talk justice and equity, but demonstrate it in behavior. Speak up against injustice in whatever form it takes. Speak out in support of those being treated unjustly. Take God’s side against sin. No consensus-based theology! We cannot be morally and spiritually two-faced.
2. Love mercy. What a simple, forthright call for compassion. If there is a ‘compassion hero’ in Scripture it would be the ‘good Samaritan’ who crossed the cultural norms to give unusual and costly aid. Though tough on sin, we should be incredibly quick to forgive and move past hurts and anger. We should try harder to understand the circumstances of others. We should hear the whole story before we critically judge behavior.
3. Walk humbly with God. There is only one God and we must daily remind ourselves that we aren’t Him! We often pride ourselves in things that only God can take credit for. We congratulate ourselves for things God did. A thankful heart is always a humble heart. God works regularly and easily through people who have humbled themselves and remain humble.
This week minimize the inconsequential and focus on what God says is really important.