Real Justice Sounds Soft…

Posted on November 12, 2015 in Justice

Scale of JusticeIt isn’t. Not if it’s done right.

There’s that word again.


The foundation of real justice is righteousness. One of the dictionary definitions of righteousness is “morally justifiable or right, especially from one’s own point of view.” (emphasis mine)

America and other democracies are pluralistic societies. Individuals and groups and communities have their own points of view on what is morally justifiable or right.

I have mine. I’m a follower of Jesus. Ideally, that means I learn to see life and the world the way He does. I go where He would go. I learn and do what he did, and does today. I do what he commands, empowers, encourages me to do.

I do well some days, poorly other days. I do my best to stay teachable and keep practicing.

Whatever value system you subscribe to, you’ll do the same thing if you want to live it faithfully.

So, as a follower of Jesus, I believe that if you want real justice you need to do it His way. Followers of other belief systems—humanism, Judaism, atheism, Islam, etc.—have their ways of doing justice.

Every belief system evangelizes its way as the way. If real justice restores what is right, then there can only be one “right.”

So, does that mean we will never have real justice in this world?

Yes. Unless we could be united in our differences.

There are no easy answers. I offer a start.

First, forgive the perpetrator, which releases the offended/harmed (not the perpetrator) and the affected community from the traps of anger and bitterness and judgment.

Next, give the perpetrator the opportunity to demonstrate remorse and repentance (turning away from the offending behavior). If the perpetrator does not show remorse/repentance, they receive punishment that fits the offense. If they do, they follow a path to restoration and rebuilding trust. The severity of the offense determines the length of the path.

Restoration is conditional. It’s not soft, or lenient.

Of course, the challenge of agreeing on what is right remains.

No easy answers. What say you?