I had a conversation with a lady this week about seeking God’s will in exploring her own Christian service endeavors and was reminded of Micah 6:8 –
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?
Our conversation wandered into the area of social justice warrioring by some and I observed that God’s call is to 1.) do justly, 2,) love mercy AND 3.) walk humbly with your God.
Too many get caught up in doing justly and loving mercy, but they are committed to doing what THEY THEMSELVES view as the right thing in those cases instead of pursuing God’s will. Entire books have now been written about toxic benevolence and when charitable work actually hurts. When we are acting out of our own understanding, we can wind up with unintended consequences. When we are prayerful, recognize that we don’t have all the insights or answers and seek God’s guidance daily, we are much more likely to find joy and success in the first two endeavors because we have followed Micah’s prophetic words of instruction to be sure to include humble walking with God in the doing of our justice and mercy. She affirmed her own efforts at times with items 1 and 2, but neglecting to be prayerful and intentional and humble in seeking God’s guidance in matters.
When we run ahead in our own competence, our own good intentions, our resources, and our own understanding of what is best, we may well miss the mark of God’s best in the situation.
The conversation included discussion of several difficult situations in which she or I had been asked to assist someone. The obvious way, even the easy way, is not always the best way or even God’s intended way. To humbly seek God’s direction before responding to an observed or felt need of someone is likely to produce better results in the long run.