Never has there been more of a need for Christians to understand true justice. Tragically, even pastors are behaving with injustice while accusing those calling for true justice as covering sin. They mask their own acts of vengeance as being acts of justice. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The following is an excerpt from Dr. Hyles book Jack Hyles On Justice.
“He hath shewed thee, 0 man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” Micah 6:8
The most important thing in the Christian life is to be just. Justice is the balancing of the scale. It is punishing an individual equivalent to the crime that was committed. It is rewarding an individual equivalent to the deed performed.
Justice is more than the sentencing of a judge in a courtroom, a teacher in a classroom or a parent in a home. It is also the sentencing within our hearts toward others. A just person has justice in the heart.
This chapter will be built upon the foundation of the basic principles of justice discussed in the previous chapter: (1) Only God has perfect justice; (2) No two people will always agree on what is just; (3) I must not require you to reconcile your justice with mine; (4) I must decide if you are sincere; (5) Because you are sincere, I must allow you to disagree; and (6) I will not put you on trial every day.
If money is missing from your wallet or purse and you suspect that your child took it, it is not just to punish that child until you are positive that he took it. It is tragic that often we punish someone before we have all the facts. Suppose you punish the child and then later discover that your husband or wife borrowed it. You have treated the child unjustly because you made your judgment based on suspicion rather than on fact.
Doing justly means that you never punish somebody who should not be punished. That is the first thing the Lord requires of you. In whatever area you have been given to judge, you are first to make certain that you are just. The first responsibility of a Christian parent is to do justly. The first responsibility of a school teacher or principal is to do justly. The first responsibility of every person in a position of leadership is to do justly. Those under our leadership have a right to be treated justly.
It is wrong to jump to conclusions and administer punishment before we have examined all the facts. Suspicion is not a basis for punishment. Accusation is not a basis for punishment. Fact is the only basis for punishment. The greatest perversion taking place in America among Christians today is their perversion of justice.
That is God’s top priority. Pastors, be just to your members. Teachers, be just to your students. Parents, be just to your children. Employers, be just to your employees. God requires it. Punish only when you know a crime has been committed.
This is a big part of doing justly. Mercy is not believing something unless you know it is true. It means not jumping to conclusions and not punishing until you have all of the facts. It means giving an individual the benefit of the doubt if you do not know he is guilty.
At First Baptist Church we have a rule stating that deacons must not smoke cigarettes. Several years ago two of our deacons were accused of smoking. I met privately with each of the two men to ask them whether or not it was true. I still did not believe it because I did not yet have their side of the story.
One of the deacons admitted that he was having a difficult time quitting his smoking, and he resigned the deacon board. The other man denied ever having smoked a cigarette. I did not have enough proof to convict him, so I gladly accepted his word. That is mercy. I would rather show mercy and be wrong than to condemn someone without knowing that he is guilty. Tragically, most Christians are more interested in execution than in mercy; yet the Lord requires it of us to show mercy. We preach what we require and ignore what God requires.
Again, this is still an extension of the first requirement of doing justly. We are not to think of ourselves more highly than those we are investigating, nor are we to prejudge them in our minds. We are not to follow our assumptions and judge without facts.
Oftentimes we have evidence but no proof, so we go ahead and pronounce guilt without knowing the individual is guilty. I refuse to punish someone based on my opinion or anyone else’s opinion. To do so is pride, because it is elevating your opinion to the level of the law. A person is innocent until proven guilty. We Christians are the worst in this matter of judging someone because we think he is guilty. Our intuition is not always right. Never are we to judge an individual until we know he is guilty.
– an excerpt from Jack Hyles On Justice written by Dr. Hyles.