31 Days Redefining Justice


About a month ago, my friend Bethany Martin introduced me to the 31 Days challengeA whole community of people have come together around this challenge to post about a single topic on their blog every day in October.

There’s not much I do 31 days in a row other than eat and sleep. So I hemmed and hawed for three weeks, not sure I was ready to commit to increasing from one or two posts a month to 31 posts.

Then I started writing. I currently have a very rough draft of four posts and ideas for nine more posts. Turns out some people have been preparing for this challenge for months and might even have all 31 posts already written. Yikes! That makes me a little anxious.

I seem to work well under pressure though. In fact, when I don’t have impending deadlines, I don’t often finish what I’ve started. I am an incredibly skilled procrastinator.

In the past two-and-a-half years of being mostly unemployed, I’ve started lots of projects. What I’ve finished is filling two shelves with jam, making two boxes of chocolate truffles, creating a guide to Birmingham on a budget, planting a garden, and refinishing two pieces of furniture.


What’s left of last summer’s jam making extravaganza.


This season has been incredibly fruitful in numerous other ways, they’re just mostly less tangible or not yet completed.

Among the not-yet-finished projects are baskets full of books on topics I’ve wanted to delve into for years. During this long season of unemployment, God has continually been working within and around me to redefine the terms by which I live, largely through conversations and my basketsful of books. I am convinced He has refused me gainful employment for such purposes.


The 31 Days series offers me a daily deadline to finally make something of the myriad thoughts that have been whirling around in my head about one of these topics – justice.

After years of working in international development, I believe the currently popular definition of justice – both within and beyond evangelical circles – is far too narrow. Justice has come to be defined in terms of injustice, which is overwhelming at best. It has also been divorced from a larger moral component that is essential to its nature.

In 31 Days of Redefining Justice, I anticipate reflecting on Scripture to return to a biblical definition of justice. I’ll regularly draw on conversations with friends from around the world, experiences in Asia and Africa, thoughts from great philosophers and theologians, and pop culture. I hope to have a few key thinkers from my Portland circles interacting as well.

So I’m wondering – will you be part of what God’s up to in this heart and mind by joining the conversation throughout October? Your comments will not only make it more difficult for me to wiggle my way out of the commitment – they’ll hopefully spur conversations that can lead all of us closer to the Truth.

I’ll link to all 31 Days of Redefining Justice posts here as I write them, so keep coming back, or follow the blog by entering your email below.

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Day 1: 31 Days Redefining Justice (above)

Day 2: Where Is Justice?

Day 3: Webster’s Definition

Day 4: The Limited Definition

Day 5: Clarity Over Coffee

Day 6: Righteousness and Justice

Day 7: Sedaqah (righteousness)

Day 8: Sedaqa 2.0

Day 9: Sedaqa as Relational

Day 10: Take a Breather

Day 11: Mishpat (justice)

Day 12: Mishpat as Relational

Day 13: God’s Community-Building and Protecting Power

Day 14: The Perfect Couplet

Day 15: Knowing Justice Through God’s Word

Day 16: Faithfulness and Love

Day 17: More Love and Faithfulness

Day 18: The Meaning of Covenant

Day 19: The Abrahamic Covenant

Day 20: God’s Reconciling Nature & the Human Role in Covenant

Day 21: Upright Behavior & Relationships

Day 22: Commands to Bring Justice & Peace

Day 23: Shacking Up or Standing Up

Day 24: Caring for Those in Need

Day 25: The Widow, Orphan, Stranger, and Poor

Day 26: Some Questions

Day 27: Look Closer: Justice Is on Earth

Day 28: Dependence on the Lord

Day 29: Justice in Jesus

Day 30: The New Covenant

Day 31: Justice in Heaven

I’m going to post beyond the 31st day of this series to share some examples of how this redefined understanding of justice can play out in real life. I no longer plan to post every day or always on this topic, but I’ll keep this landing page updated with relevant posts. You can also read related posts by clicking on the justice category in the sidebar.

I’d like to hear your stories, ideas, and insights as well, so please do share!

Day 32: Abide in Christ

Day 33: The Weeping Room

Day 34: Practicing Justice When You’re Able to Do Nothing

Day 35: Abandoned Chair Potential

A couple side notes in the midst of the 31 Days Redefining Justice series…

If you’re having trouble finding comments, the link is directly under each post title, a bit to the right. I’m not able to get the comments to always show, so unfortunately you have to click on the comments link for each post. There have already been some very helpful comments, so I encourage you to check them out!

Also, I don’t have a lot of images that make sense to include with the general concept of justice. I’m working on that, but if you have any images you’d like to share or feel inspired by Scriptures to create a pictorial representation, I’d love to see your creations. You can send them to me here with information about how you’d like to be credited.

Thanks everyone for your participation!


21 thoughts on “31 Days Redefining Justice”

  1. What a GREAT topic– and a great way to use this in-between time you are in right now!
    I can’t wait to hear more about justice from all perspectives!

  2. beccastanley said:

    Dont worry, I havent even planned a single post 🙂 oops.

  3. Looking forward to following along with you. This is a subject that hits close to home with me, so I definitely need to spend much time thinking and praying more about what God’s word says about this. On a lighter note, I am posting 31 Days of Taming Too Much ! Would love it if you joined me as well. Excited to follow along with you.

    • Thanks Jackie.

      And I know that feeling of having taken on too much to tame! I look forward to seeing some of the furniture you’ve distressed and being inspired by the purging. We just had a massive garage sale ourselves and are selling things left and right on Craigslist.

  4. Can’t wait to read each day this month! Go Halley 🙂

  5. Looking forward to it, Halley!

  6. Teradactel said:

    This will be a deep and challenging subject to address.

    I like that you said “Justice has come to be defined in terms of injustice…”. I couldn’t agree more. When I think of the word, justice, my thoughts are automatically drawn to injustice. However, when I make myself focus on what justice means to me, I get a wishy-washy idea about God dealing with everything in due time. Then I just leave the matter there as though I am not able to/should not be used in God’s agenda to bring justice. I’m not pleased to say that, but I must be honest because I don’t want my idea of justice to be super vague and wishy-washy. I don’t want it to come across to me as a God problem, something outside of my jurisdiction.

    I want to work alongside God, be His partner of restoration and renewal. He is a God of justice and He can use me…and us.

    Thanks Halley,
    Sarah Teradachtel

  7. I am curious if after the 31 days that a definition of justice exists.

  8. you always bring insight… looking forward to a dose of you each day 🙂

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