About a month ago, my friend Bethany Martin introduced me to the 31 Days challenge. A 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.
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 14: The Perfect Couplet
Day 16: Faithfulness and Love
Day 17: More Love and Faithfulness
Day 18: The Meaning of Covenant
Day 19: The Abrahamic Covenant
Day 21: Upright Behavior & Relationships
Day 23: Shacking Up or Standing Up
Day 24: Caring for Those in Need
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 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!