Evil & the Difficulty with Justice

Sometimes evil is difficult to believe. Elderly men abusing children, children killing their parents, a young man raping and selling women to the highest bidder. These stories are not found deep within the pages of the latest crime novel. They’re real life, found in news articles from across the globe. That’s something we all have in common, isn’t it? You may come from a country with or without guns, a country with or without harsh penalties for sexual assault, a country with or without the death penalty. But you do come from a country with crime. You come from a country with evil. It’s uncomfortable to hear it put that way. “Evil” sounds so…judgmental…a little strong, perhaps.  But that’s what sin is, and that’s evil. Sin is why human trafficking exists.

“Truth is nowhere to be found, and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey. The LORD looked and was displeased that there was no justice.”
–Isaiah 59:15

Whether I’m discussing human trafficking with someone in America, Australia, or New Zealand, the suggestion commonly posed is that more education and better funding for development programs would undoubtedly end this age-old evil of slavery. To quote a courageous modern day abolitionist, Don Brewster, “Have education and money solved evil in the West?” Sin cannot be beat with money and knowledge, because humans love to turn money and knowledge into directions toward power and greed.

Jesus Christ is THE solution to human trafficking, to evil in the world, because when we become His disciples we have the gift of the Holy Spirit. Dwelling in us, changing our hearts. We’ll never be anything other than human – but we will be a different kind of human. Justice will matter in a more intimate, dearer way than it has before.

“Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.”
–Acts 20:28

The difficulty, though, of Jesus giving us this dear sense of justice is what we have to forgive. For the past year God has been teaching my heart to learn to love the traffickers.  Human traffickers have given themselves to evil, buying and selling people as if they are paper cups. The best – and worst – thing about the Holy Spirit granting us the chance to realize this different kind of justice is that everyone is loved by Jesus Christ.

We can’t understand it. No justice on earth? A chance to be in Heaven…after all they’ve done? Can we really trust God to mete out enough justice after death?  But real justice is above our finite plane of thought. Real justice is love in a barren place, forgiveness in a hollow tree, and the salvation of Jesus Christ even though nothing we do could really merit the death and resurrection of a righteous God in human form.

Evil and sin would have you downtrodden. Justice would have you forgiven and free.

Which one will you choose for your life? What will you offer to others?

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