Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Single Verse to Live By

Micah 6:8 NKJV
He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you
But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?

Micah 6:8 KJV
He hath shewed thee, O 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 is probably my favorite passage in the Bible. In a single sentence God gives us His requirements for our behavior. I won’t say the rest of the Bible is commentary on that single verse, for surely the Bible teaches us more than how to conduct ourselves; it also gives us insight into God Almighty.  But for behavior, this sure sums it up.

Some versions state to "seek justice", or to pursue the law as written by God. Seeking justice can be easy. We’ve all been wronged at some point, and we all want to see wrongdoing punished. However, justice is to be tempered with mercy. Not so easy now.

Remember that Jesus showed us mercy when we deserved none. When people stumble, when they blatantly disregard good behavior, we can (and often do) point out the action. Let's remember that "all have sinned and fall short" and show mercy to everyone, including ourselves. Mercy is usually harder for me.

Finally, we are to walk humbly with our God. He leads, for He knows where we should go. When He speaks, we listen. When we speak we remember that He loves us, but deserves our respect as the God of the universe. Though we should tremble before Him, though we should fall on our knees, our very faces before Him, He wants us to walk humbly with Him. That should be enough to make us humble.

Justice, mercy and humility. Great men and women are made from these qualities. They are the legs of a three-legged stool. Two alone won’t lift us up; we need all three.

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