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In solidarity with those around me in evangelical circles, I’ve long defined justice as a movement or action that effectively establishes fairness and stands up for those who have been wronged in society, particularly the poor and oppressed.

Although this definition is accurate in some senses, it is also incomplete.

I’m beginning to understand that living out justice may not always appear effective. It may not take place in the form of a movement or at the level of society as a whole, and it is not only about the poor and oppressed. I suspect it is not primarily concerned with fairness and justification either, though these are certainly important factors.

I believe the biblical meaning of justice is far more comprehensive and holistic than this Americanized definition. As I’ve begun searching the Scriptures, I’ve found that God’s justice extends into but far beyond social realities.

How have you understood justice to be defined?