God Defines “The Good Life”

“He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8, ESV)”

This verse is commonly quoted, and for good reason: it answers one of our most penetrating questions. “God, what is my responsibility in maintaining a relationship with you?” This morning, I titled this verse, “how to get on God’s good side.” What we see is not the path to entering a relationship with God (conversion), but how to live with God in such a way as to maximize the power of his presence.

If I want to know that God is predisposed to respond to my prayers, I will live Micah 6:8; if I want to know that God is using me to change my world, I will live Micah 6:8; if I want to fan the flame of the Lord’s love, I will live Micah 6:8.

As I reflected on the three-fold lifestyle of the “good person,” I discovered that usually I interpret each one as “I should value these things.” This morning, I was convicted that God doesn’t want to me to value them or appreciate them; he wants me to actively live them.

“Do justice” means more than I like justice, or being repelled by injustice; doing justice implies that I am converting pockets of injustice into justice realms. This means changing my own unjust patterns, and then challenging the injustices I see around me. What injustice have you made right this week?

“Love kindness” seems to suggest a passive appreciation. However in context, I wonder if “loving kindness” reflects the opposite of justice action from “do justice.” If doing justice means I correct injustice, then loving kindness means rewarding kindness. Who have you thanked for doing kindness this week? Do you practice catching people doing good?

“Walk humbly with your God” calls me to the ministry of continual God-awareness. I go through my day, alternating between asking God for divine assistance and thanking the Lord for every blessing. How aware of you of the Spirits presence during the day?

As I challenge injustice, affirm kindness, seek God’s help and appreciate God’s goodness, I experience fresh outpourings of God’s spirit. While there is intrinsic value to each of the four activities, my experience is that together, they unleash a power of divine love that far exceeds the sum of the parts. God is actively present in those who actively live this “good life.”

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