Q How do I discern what it means to “fight the good fight” against injustice?

A There are injustices, both local and global, that need the hands, feet, voices, and courage of people who are willing to align themselves with Jesus’ vision: “The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth. And all people will see God’s salvation” (Luke 3:5-6).

First, be willing to move toward the hard places of pain and suffering. Jesus didn’t recoil from a man with an oppressive evil spirit in the synagogue; he moved toward him (Mark 1:21-26). He challenged a young man to go beyond good ethics to “sell all” for the sake of the kingdom (Luke 18:18-29). Jesus modeled pursuing justice for those whose voices were muted by the powerful. He made others’ pain his own. Discipleship and justice are two sides of the same coin. Following Jesus means following him into places of injustice.

Second, seek wise counsel. A friend told me about a grandmother and granddaughter who voted differently in the American presidential election. The grandmother felt a tremendous responsibility for her vote, but she also wanted to learn from her granddaughter. She decided to learn about immigration through taking classes at a local church and talking with her granddaughter. Learning from ministries such as the Office of Social Justice or your local church is good place to start.                          

Finally, just do it. Combating injustice might be a third-grade student writing a note of encouragement to a refugee. A single mother working against the scourge of sex trafficking in Jesus’ name strikes a mighty blow against the evil one’s plans.

Fighting the good fight begins when you and I make the decision to no longer stand outside the ring.

About the Author

Reginald Smith is a program affiliate with the Calvin Institute for Christian Worship and co-interim director of Race Relations for the Christian Reformed Church. He attends Madison Square Church in Grand Rapids, Mich