|It is the first afternoon of the PFI Europe and Central Asia conference I am co-facilitating here in Alicante, Spain. 30 countries are represented – each coming from very different places. From Scotland to Ukraine, England to Kazakhstan, Albania to Israel. Different language, culture, context, and COVID impacts. But what we all have in common here is a desire to see Jesus made known to men and women in prison.|
The session I am listening to is on restorative justice, and once again I find myself drawn in by this incredible vision of peace, and healing, and flourishing. You see, God’s justice is not like the world’s justice, and the one to which we can find ourselves subscribing to. For those who see justice as primarily punishment, the focus is on what law is broken, who broke it, and what do they deserve. But for those who see justice through God’s eyes see justice as primarily about healing, where the focus is on defining the harm, understanding who was harmed, and who is responsible to repair the harm. The focus is on meeting the victims need for healing, the offender’s need to make amends, and the community need for health and safety.
You see, Justice is not about punishment. It is about repairing harm. Justice restores shalom – full human flourishing, to the extent possible, because, as Tim Keller puts it, “God created all things to be in beautiful, harmonious, interdependent, knitted, webbed relationship with one another”. And his full attention is on making this reality – in us and through us.
So, as you head into your day, may you see opportunities to express the true justice of God in your interactions with those you encounter along the way.
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