Saturday, November 12, 2011

With Liberty and Justice For All

What does this picture have to do with Veteran's Day?

“With liberty and justice for all.”  The last words of our Pledge of Allegiance to the United States flag mean more to me on Veteran’s Day.  Our armed forces and families understand the cost of protecting our liberty and wanting justice for all.
Spilling starts:  Why justice?  Do we really expect our country to provide justice for all?  Life isn’t fair you know.  As a mother of three young girls, I believe this is the fourth phrase my girls learned, behind “Da da” (they’re Daddy’s girls), “ba rees” (batteries their  toys always needed), “mine” (especially when they didn’t want to share their toys) and “that’s not fair” (when their toys were stolen).  I didn’t need to teach them the idea that they should demand justice.  They expected fairness when they were wronged. 
As a Mom, I try to be fair with my girls. Because I’m not perfect, I could never be truly fair.  Likewise, even though our country tries to show fairness to all people, only a perfect country could show perfect justice.  (Don’t think that will ever happen).   So, is there truly justice?  We can only attempt to show  justice if we believe in a just God.  Here’s why.  Think about if God is not just.  If He was not just, we could not live by these three truths.
1)   If God is not just, there is no line of right and wrong.  There must be an absolute rightness, perfection, to have a standard of right and wrong.  God, in His perfection sets the standard.  Without God, we cannot define right and wrong.   If there is no line for my girls, when they disagree about  toys, I would  say, “Sorry, no one is right or wrong.”  I could only let the girls duke it out for themselves.   Think about the chaos in this world if we lived without standards of right or wrong.   
2)   If God is not just, there is no need for  laws.  We wouldn’t need laws if there is no right and wrong.   At my house, if right and wrong do not exist, there are no rules.  No one gets in trouble when they steal a toy out of someone else’s hands.    Imagine this world without laws.  No one would need punishment because they would not break any laws.  Again, only chaos. 
3)   If God is not just, God is not love.  God demonstrates his love by being fair.  He has the same rules for everyone.  He also shows justice by punishing sin.  We all have the same penalty for sin, death.  In God’s justice, He demonstrates His love by giving Jesus as the penalty for our sin.   Likewise, even though I don’t like to have to punish my girls when they do wrong,  I punish them  because I love them.  If I looked the other way when one wronged another, I wouldn’t be fair to the one wronged and not show love to the one who needed correction.    In God’s perfect justice, He treats everyone fairly, and proves His love.
 We cannot expect our country to provide us with justice, yet deny God is just.  If so, we would act as children wanting convenient, selfish justice, demanding no one to steal our toys, yet justified in taking others.  We can, however, trust God in his unchanging character.  He demands justice and will have the final say.  It may not be on earth, but everyone will pay for their actions against others and God.   Maybe that’s why people do not want to believe God is just.  May we always pledge, “with liberty and justice for all.”  Thank you, Veterans, for making this possible.

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