Jesus, justice and judgementalism

Jesus and justice: I’m not sure which word I’ve heard more this year. I understand why justice is such a commonly used word. We have justice class, justice clubs and justice conversations at dinner.

I feel blessed to be at a school like Eastern where we are learning about social justice issues, but as a junior, I’ve been able to observe some patterns.

I’ve seen many people start as a part of the “Christian subculture,” attending chapel each week, going to Grow Group and of course, not missing out on Sunday night worship.

But as time progresses we embrace our education, build up some cynicism towards our sheltered atmosphere and get bored of being so “Christian-like.” So maybe we smoke a few cigars, drink a little wine and become passionate about justice.

I’m not saying that this is a negative change–God calls us to carry out His will on earth and to strive for compassion for the world.

However, just like attending worship every week can become a social activity, I believe that justice can go in that direction as well.

Justice should not be a hobby or a trend, but something we seek because of our committed discipleship to Christ.

I’ve been thinking about my faith a lot this year and about how justice plays into that. I made a goal for myself that I would make more of an effort to learn about justice issues. But at the beginning of the year, the more I learned and talked to people, the more frustrated I felt.

I began to sense that everything I did was wrong in some way, and I felt judged by others because I might make a very occasional trip to the mall, because I do not ride my bike everywhere and sometimes I use a styrofoam cup.

Their judgement, I felt, was my fault, and I allowed myself to be discouraged.

However, I know that I’m not the only one who has felt this way at Eastern. I’ve talked to many people who are dismayed and sense judgement because they feel they are not the “justice” type.

But God has given me a huge sense of freedom from these former judgements. Once I took to heart the simple fact that I’m not here to please people, so much began to make sense.

I ended up going to Y.A.C.H.T. one Saturday and had a great time talking to the homeless people whom I met. The difference was that I stopped caring what people thought and simply did what was right because it was what God called me to do.

We all have different passions to make this world a better place. Mine is working with city kids, while anothers’ is feeding the homeless each week. Someone may dig wells in Africa, while someone may feel called to do youth ministry in the suburbs.

All I know is that if we seek God above pleasure, comfort and selfish desires, He will use us anywhere.

I love that Eastern helps me to think about all of these things, to seek justice, to lay aside the disease of materialism, to make changes in my lifestyle that better the environment and to go to the places of this world that other people won’t go.

I pray that as we are growing and changing here, that these changes will last for our lifetimes and not just become a college phase.

Although we may disagree on our theology, political views and lifestyle choices, let’s remember that we are the Body of Christ and that we are serving one God.

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