As our world stands now, there are many difficulties. Refugee crises, climate change, unemployment, and others. When reflecting on a situation and how it could develop, we can sometimes see it through two different angles: justice and grace. Which one of those two is the most important?
Justice is an important factor of dealing with problems, but sometimes that can blind us to the concept of grace. Grace is unmerited favor. The concept of grace can be applied in most areas of our everyday life. For example, someone treats you unfairly and blames you for something that you didn’t do. Later on, that same person decided to come back to you and apologize for their actions. In that moment, you have two options presented to you. Either get back at the person (justice) or forgive them (grace).
Choosing justice in that situation may feel very satisfying in the moment, but it may have consequences in the long run. You start to feel guilty about what you did and want to show grace to the person and apologize for what you did in the moment, but your sense of justice inhibits you from doing that. As a result, that conflict remains and may wear on you in the future.
However, choosing grace leads to a wonderful sense of freedom and in the long run, you will feel happy about your choice and that you did the right thing. Also, you may even want to know the person who did you wrong. You may even become close friends at the end of the day.
An example from my life would be with one of my best friends, Christina. We were both in 5th grade and we were not close at all. One day, I found that the snack I had from the day was missing from my bag. I remember that I saw Christina taking something that looked familiar to my snack, and I went at the end of the day and talked to her about it. She said that she hadn’t taken it and that I was wrong. I decided not to pursue it further and went home.
The next day, Christina came over to me and said that she did take my snack and that she was sorry. I had a choice to either not forgive her and harbor bad feelings against her (justice), or to accept her apology and forgive her (grace). I immediately chose to forgive her and show grace. She was surprised that I would choose to forgive her this easily and we became friends. To this day, we are inseparable from each other and have never fought since.
That was my experience with the choice of justice or grace, and there are many more examples strewn across my life. But what about you? What do you think of justice and grace? Which do you think should be more important and why? Think about that.