3. It’s Personal
We should be eager for divine justice. Even when it means our own punishment, we are eager to see justice live on this earth. We live in a fallen existence and perfection is simply impossible, but the wrath of God is the same grace for us as the blessings. Indeed, for us it’s all the same. We are driven to see justice as its own reward and don’t fear the loss of anything we have here, least of all our lives. We are excited by the prospect of going Home to be with Jesus. Every experience of death is a precious gift from God.
So we are quick to call for God to visit, to bring His wrath and His rewards. It’s all the same to us. We aren’t counting the personal costs because none of it will follow us into eternity. It’s all just a tool for His glory.
It’s personal, not mechanical. This is one of the hardest things for a Western mind to absorb: Everything is personal. Nothing is impersonal; objectivity is a myth. In God’s eyes, everything in this world belongs to some person. Someone is accountable to Him for everything. Since the only way to avoid the worst misery of God’s wrath is to keep it friendly and bold with Him, we seize our own culpability for failure. We openly confess our failures and request His power to correct our flaws. This ameliorates the Curse of the Fall for us, and the Father treats us favorably. That includes natural consequences. We submit willingly to whatever comes with that package.
But we know that the slaves in His Creation are not so fortunate. They have long striven to depersonalize everything and remove themselves from responsibility. This myth remains a major problem for us. We have to live with it, even though we know it’s totally false. We aren’t vindictive in holding people accountable to our personal sense of disappointment, but we do try to step back and let God’s justice work in their lives. And if it doesn’t come out like we expect, we accept what God does and move on with the mission. We don’t pretend to know all the private counsel of the Father in dealing with the cattle in His herds.
We certainly can and should know His will for us individually. We know that we must keep an awareness of personal responsibility over everything God puts in our hands. We can and should know when a tool has outlived its usefulness in our mission, and let it go. The flesh will fight against that, but we can nail Adam to the Cross again and move on with our mission.
Every activity should focus on blessing the family of God. If we engage in business, the objective of the world is profit, but for us it is feeding the sheep of His pasture. So if we are in business, then as much as it rests in our hands, we make decisions in favor of the people, not the profits. For example, hiring and staffing is the primary place to invest any profit. God allows people to engage in business for the primary purpose of giving jobs to His family. We don’t pursue efficiency as the primary goal, but maximal employment of personnel. We spread the blessings and profits with His family, our tribe.
Granted, not everyone in the workforce is part of the divine family, but we may not be in a position to know either way. So on the principle of divine justice, we seek to employ as many bodies as the context will permit. That’s how we serve the Lord. And while there are a thousand other issues involved in pursuing that end, we keep our eyes on that goal. We hire and fire based on our best estimate, our best leading of conviction, what will bring the greatest prosperity to the largest number of people. And we show a distinct preference for people who seem to have a decent moral character, naturally.
If we are the manager or employer, then these people become a part of our feudal household, as it were. Not so that we can judge them whether they are slaves, servants or family in God’s eyes, but we discern them in how we are required to handle them on our own level. We realize it’s a hot potato to talk about fairness in terms of prevailing laws, but in our own minds we know that such conceptions of equality are utterly impossible in God’s eyes. So we should try to make it clear, even if we have to avoid saying it, that we will play favorites and see no injustice whatsoever in that. It’s how God does business. But by the same token, we aren’t going to be fools about it. We will measure from our hearts who actually is committed to the mission of the business. Such people will always understand why they are favored, and are wholly unlikely to betray you for petty reasons.
And if you are just an employee, you will understand these dynamics even when you can’t act on them. We are obliged by our heart-led privileges to see the world from all levels. We are required to pray and seek God’s face on how to act in a foreign land, for we are aliens to this world. No two of us will have the same answers. But in broad general terms, we aren’t surprised when this obedience to Biblical Law leads away from wealth in a system that hates God’s Law. We don’t take it personally when sinners sin against God, even if we are the proximate target.
God alone is able to help you understand the delicate balance between secular legal requirements and divine justice. Always obey your convictions regardless of the cost. Trust in God to handle the consequences for His glory. Either way, the Western democratic sense of justice is a lie of the Devil. Don’t buy it.