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Just standing....

Comic book heroes of the '50's and '60's were all a kid could think about. Superman zooming through the open skies, swooping down just in time to save the injustice from being done. Some 'super-villain' would have to be dealt with and the super-hero would step in to 'save the day' in just the nick of time. Captain Comet, Flash, Batman, Batwoman....the list goes on. Everyone wanted (and needed) a hero! What did these heroes all have in common? They took a stand for justice of some kind. Taking a stand for something in life is probably one of the most telling things about an individual. The things or people that an individual takes a stand for reveal the priorities of the individual, the values developed in life learning, and the importance one places on that thing or person in their life. There are really two things worth taking a stand for: Justice and the Right.

I stood up for justice and the right; don't leave me to the mercy of my oppressors. Take the side of your servant, good God; don't let the godless take advantage of me. I can't keep my eyes open any longer, waiting for you to keep your promise to set everything right. (Psalm 119:121-123)

Justice is simply the moral "rightness" of a matter or individual. In daily choices, we'd say an individual is exhibiting just behavior when they are allowing moral principles to guide their practice. There are just some things and individuals we should stand up for like the widow that cannot provide for her own needs after the loss of a spouse of many years, or the orphan left with no family to surround them with the love they so desperately need. The right is exhibited in an individual operating in accordance with what is good, proper, or just. Really, we cannot separate Justice from the Right. They go hand-in-hand. You could say God expects us to be 'agents of Justice' in our everyday life.

It is so easy to stand up for those we believe to be exhibiting "moral excellence", but how well do we handle those in our lives that exhibit actions we could not consistently label as good, proper, or just? I think we might all struggle with this a little everyday - people don't always "behave" as we think they should! In most cases, God wants us to learn the grace of forgiving the offenses of those individuals with a gracious immediacy. It is unthinkable that God would allow us to hold onto the injustices of these individuals and allow the injustice to become a thing we focus our attention upon. As with the 'superheroes', we are deal with the injustice swiftly and with the right measure of grace.

It is quite possible to take a stand, yet there are those who would oppress or resist this stand for justice. There is the tendency of those who don't understand our "stand" and they use the action of attempting to put us down for that stand. There is a tendency for us to want to restrain any actions of others that we don't understand - our oppressors are likely doing this in our lives - they don't understand our actions, so they resist them. Their response to our moral excellence is conviction and we know that some don't like the feeling conviction produces in their lives! It is easier for them to resist, or restrain the actions, so that those 'ill-feelings' don't continue to niggle at them. They want to shut down the conviction!

Oppressors may be described as the godless. In other words, those that really don't operate by the same principled standards as outline in the Word of God. Therein stands the "rub" because we are pretty frequently surrounded by those with differing values. Their differences become most evident anytime we take a stand for justice. Our only hope for being "bolstered" or "encouraged" in our stand is the "backing" of our God as we stand! At times, the very best 'tactic' we can take is to wait for God to intervene even when we are growing weary in the stand. God knows our weariness - nothing escapes his view. Our oppressors don't escape his view either! He has a time and a purpose for his intervention. We must learn to trust him "IN" our stand for justice and the right. It is "IN" the stand we are made strong, enduring what others would flee from. It is "IN" the stand God meets us, grows us, and changes how our oppressors view US! Stand on! Cast your weariness upon the one who will lift you high! Stand strong! Hold onto his powerful hand through your oppression! God is changing how your oppressors are viewing you this very day! Just sayin!

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