Tag Archives: social justice

Be just and merciful. Be inspired.

be inspiredAs part of our month-long be inspired series, here’s one more conversation from the archives with Erina Ludwig, a Londoner now living in Indianapolis. Erina is  half of the musical duo The Yellow Kites (with her husband Kendall) and is the author of Unnoticed Neighbors: A Pilgrimage into the Social Justice Story. 

• • • • • 

1. Why are you passionate about biblical justice? www.bohemianredimages.com

When I hear the words biblical justice it conjures up images of divine wrath but also an unyielding desire to see every human being flourish.

I am in no way tied to rules for the sake of keeping up appearances. I don’t do things because they’re written down somewhere. I find compassion is written in my very core and I am moved to action because of it. I see us, human beings, as being capable of so much and yet bypassing it for other trinkets. And so biblical justice is remembering we’re all walking this earth together, to remember each other, to be kind, to feel anger but let it go and for the love of all that makes us human, to treat others with respect and dignity regardless of how different they are.

The few stories we have of Jesus’ dealings with people in the Bible best capture that desire. The woman caught in adultery and dragged to Jesus’s feet and his delicate but divisive response makes me cheer. He knew how to love others and what right to be done to them.

unnoticedneighbors2. Injustice in our world can seem so overwhelming and discouraging. Ever felt that way? And how can we overcome discouragement & inertia and move forward into hopeful action?

I have a quarterly crisis throughout the year as I try and work out how we get out of the mess we’ve made for ourselves here in life. I feel overwhelmed and simply weep. I used to think that was a pointless response, but I have since learned it means my heart is still soft and still feels — which is legions better than a calloused old beater! I think it’s best to pick one thing that hits you in the guts and makes you want to vomit. Grab a hold of that injustice and start working towards chipping away at it. Remember what we do won’t always be explosions in the sky, but every act of kindness counts and changes this world we live in. (Whether it wants to be changed or not.) Continue reading

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You . . . Shining

I return again and again to this passage – for conviction, for inspiration, for realignment, for truth. God’s people were worshipping him through fasting and rituals, but God asked for something deeper . . . for something harder.

light flower“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—when you see the naked, to cloth them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?

Then your light will break forth like the dawn and your healing will quickly appear . . . If you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land” (Isaiah 58:6-11).

God invites YOU to shine your light. To shine your light through good-news actions of mercy, through compassion, through justice. To shine your light through good-news words of truth, of grace, of the Cross, of the empty tomb, of freedom. The light of the world lives within you . . . and shines through you.

ShineYourLight CVR-1Thank you for joining me this month in our discussion of justice! If you want to explore this topic further, check out my new Flourishing Faith Bible study Shine Your Light. Along with justice, it digs into scriptural themes like service, evangelism, mercy, and compassion.

Next month, we’ll look at a theme close to my heart: Cherish Your Family.

Just 3: Amber Robinson

Join me for a great conversation in which I’m asking just 3 women just 3 questions about living justly. Today meet Amber Robinson —  a speaker for Compassion International, the author of Mercy Rising: Simple Ways to Practice Justice and Compassion, and a talented pianist. I’m so privileged to count Amber as one of my friends.

* * * * * 

amberrobinson.com2_1. Why are you passionate about biblical justice?

I never set out to be “passionate about biblical justice.” In college, I took a spiritual gifts test and scored high on a couple gifts, medium on many others, and glaringly low on one gift – and that gift was mercy. So it’s ironic that many people say that justice is my “thing”, when it is obviously something that I don’t come by naturally.

Through a very long trial with health issues, God revealed to me a lot of selfishness. I realized that my world was all about me.

I began reading Scripture more earnestly – I was amazed by all of the commands to help those in our society who face injustice, and knew I needed to act on these commands. It was very hard to reorient my thinking because we are taught, even in our faith culture, to focus on ourselves and our nuclear families.

I am passionate about my work with Compassion International and slavery prevention because it works. I have seen the lives of children all around the world changed. Despite the population increases in poor countries, we are turning the tide on poverty.

Beyond the help for others, we are really helping ourselves. It is an emotionally, spiritually, physically healing journey to die to self. I feel a joy and peace that I never had before.

I feel like my life has more clarity and focus and integrity. My old thought pattern was, Once I get my finances, health, etc. in order, then I can do justice, but God’s way is this: Die to yourself, obey me, and I will give you all the rest.

We can’t give in to the lie that the people who are immersed in this kingdom work have an easier life in some way and that is why they are involved. We all have big reasons not to do this. But we can get past these excuses and start living the abundant life promised to us.

Presentation-Color-2-291x3002. All the wrong and injustice in the world can feel so overwhelming. How can we overcome discouragement?

We have a choice to make about how we will view God. We see a servant in Matthew 25 who viewed God as a harsh taskmaster, buried his talent, and did not make an impact on the kingdom.

In contrast, David and John saw Christ as a gentle, good leader. They described him as a shepherd. There were two common shepherding techniques in the Middle East:  drive the sheep from behind or lead them from the front and let them follow your voice. In Scripture we see the tenderness of the Shepherd leading the sheep from the front, finding them when they are lost, and leading them to food, drink, shelter, safety, and rest. Continue reading

Just 3: Erina Ludwig

I’m so happy to invite you into a conversation with 3 amazing women where I ask just 3 questions about what it means to live justly. Today meet my friend Erina Ludwig, a Londoner now living in Indianapolis. Erina is  half of the musical duo The Yellow Kites (with her husband Kendall) and is the author of Unnoticed Neighbors: A Pilgrimage into the Social Justice Story as well as the forthcoming book The Unnamed (coming September 2013). Join in on our conversation . . .

• • • • • 

1. Why are you passionate about biblical justice? www.bohemianredimages.com

When I hear the words biblical justice it conjures up images of divine wrath but also an unyielding desire to see every human being flourish.

I am in no way tied to rules for the sake of keeping up appearances. I don’t do things because they’re written down somewhere. I find compassion is written in my very core and I am moved to action because of it. I see us, human beings, as being capable of so much and yet bypassing it for other trinkets. And so biblical justice is remembering we’re all walking this earth together, to remember each other, to be kind, to feel anger but let it go and for the love of all that makes us human, to treat others with respect and dignity regardless of how different they are.

The few stories we have of Jesus’ dealings with people in the Bible best capture that desire. The woman caught in adultery and dragged to Jesus’s feet and his delicate but divisive response makes me cheer. He knew how to love others and what right to be done to them.

unnoticedneighbors2. Injustice in our world can seem so overwhelming and discouraging. Ever felt that way? And how can we overcome discouragement & inertia and move forward into hopeful action?

I have a quarterly crisis throughout the year as I try and work out how we get out of the mess we’ve made for ourselves here in life. I feel overwhelmed and simply weep. I used to think that was a pointless response, but I have since learned it means my heart is still soft and still feels — which is legions better than a calloused old beater! I think it’s best to pick one thing that hits you in the guts and makes you want to vomit. Grab a hold of that injustice and start working towards chipping away at it. Remember what we do won’t always be explosions in the sky, but every act of kindness counts and changes this world we live in. (Whether it wants to be changed or not.) Continue reading