Act Justly, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly
Wendell Moss, lead instructor and facilitator at the Allender Center, joins Dan Allender on the podcast this week to discuss the crucial passage of Micah 6:8: “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (NIV)
Why are justice, mercy, and humility bound together in this passage? And how do they intersect with one another? Listen to this deep dive into the way that these three elements interplay and create a charge that, as followers of Christ, we cannot ignore. Wendell closes the conversation by pointing out: “This passage is inviting you to a commitment. It is good. It is required. Will you be committed?”
About Wendell Moss:
Wendell Moss is a therapist, minister, educator, and speaker. Wendell serves as a part of the instructional staff at The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology in Seattle, WA where he received his Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology in 2007. Wendell has also been a core member of The Allender Center at The Seattle School’s executive leadership team and Teaching Staff since its creation in 2010. Alongside his work with The Seattle School and The Allender Center, Wendell practices as a therapist in the Seattle area.
- Listen to The Violence of Marginalization with Linda Royster (September 2022)
- Listen to Racial Reconciliation with Rev. Dr. Brenda Salter McNeil and Wendell Moss (January 2021)
- Listen to Partnerships in Racial Justice Work with Jimmy McGee and Dr. J. Derek McNeil (June 2020)
- Listen to the two-part series, Becoming an Anti-Racist, Part 1 and Part 2 (October 2021)
- Read Collective Trauma, a blog by Wendell Moss (September 2019)
- Read What Can I Do?, a blog by Becky Allender (January 2019)
Dan: If there is a motto with regard to the labor of the Allender Center, it would be strikingly similar to Micah 6:8 — Act justly, love mercy, walk humbly. And as we reflect on this, I can’t imagine a better, shall we say, companion than my dear friend and colleague, Wendell Moss, Moss, Dr. Moss, Bishop Moss, there are so many words I use of you, but nonetheless to say it is an honor to be able to have a conversation about this crucial passage with you. So welcome, welcome.
Wendell: Yeah, thank you Dan. It’s good. It’s good to be here. Thank you for that welcome. I actually, I’ve been really looking forward to this passage and actually in as a worship leader, I think for 15 years. But one of the songs that I used to always love was a song that was written according to Micah 6:8. He has shown you, oh people, what is good and what the Lord requires of you, but to act just, and I used to love this song. And so this song has been, this passage has been in me for a long time.
Dan: Well, this passage, in so many ways, when you stop and think it was written 27 centuries ago. Micah is a prophet of the Southern Kingdom, Judah. And in some ways people have described the book of Micah as he’s operating like a prosecuting attorney. He’s a contemporary of Isaiah and he’s in some ways bringing the reality of Israel’s failure to engage what God desires. And so just to give a little bit of a background just to be able to say right from the beginning his concern is the issue of justice. And he, he’s essentially crying against the prophets, the priests, the leaders of the kingdom of God. So in one sense what we can say from the beginning, this is both very personal individual, but it’s also profoundly collective. It’s meant to be heard, yes to you person, but as well the larger system in which the people of God are operating and a quick review or run through this incredible book. And he’s in chapter 2, addressing the proud, he exposes the covetousness in that chapter in terms of the rich taking the property and the houses of the poor and he exposes in chapter 3, the, in one sense, the perverted lack of equity, the dishonest scales that we’re going to read about in chapter 6. Violence, lies, bribes. He’s looking at the exposure of individual and corporate lives. So, just any thoughts you have just in regard to the whole book of Micah.
Wendell: Yeah, I think it’s interesting, like Micah is kind of this book where its a case against Israel from God. He’s calling to account. I mean, that’s what the book of Micah holds a lot of, and so when I think about this passage, it’s a passage that kind makes you kind of halt and go, there’s something wrong here that the Lord himself saying needs to be addressed. He is wanting to, he’s not letting it go. So yeah, that’s what comes to my mind when I think about the book of Michah.
Dan: Well, and to enter into this, certainly a lovely gift would be read the book but going to read the first 12 verses. We’re going to concentrate on one verse, but I want folks to get a sense of this. I’m reading from a translation that isn’t common. It’s by Robert Alter a Hebrews scholar at Berkeley taught there for 50 years. And it’s one of the most profound, well, shall we say, written under understandings, I think of the Old Testament, but particularly this. So if y’all can just sort of take a breath. I’m going to read the first 12 verses of Micah 6.
“Listen, pray, do what the Lord has said. Rise, plead a case before the mountains and let the hills hear your voice. Hear O mountains the case of the Lord and you mighty pillars of the earth. For the Lord has a case against his people. And with Israel, he would dispute. My people. What have I done to you and in what did I do? You in testify against me for I brought you up from the land of Egypt and from the house of slaves I redeemed you and sent you before you, Moses, Aaron, and Miriam, my people recall, pray what Balak, king of Moab devised and what Balam, son of Beor answered him from Shittim to Gilgal, that the Lord’s bounties would be known. With what shall I come before the Lord and bow to the most high? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings? With yearly calves? Is the Lord pleased with thousands of rams? Myriads of streams of oil? Shall I give him my firstborn for trespass the fruit of my loins for my offense? It was told to you, man, what is good and what the Lord demands of you: only doing justice and loving kindness and walking humbly with your God. The voice of the Lord calls out to the town and a man of insight shall see your name heed the rod and who brought it about can there be yet in the house of the wicked treasures of wickedness and a cursed short ethic. Could I declare the innocent who has wicked scales and in his pouch cheating weight stones whose rich are filled with outrage and those who dwell in her speak lies and their tongue is in their mouth is cheating.”
Oh baby. Oh baby. So when we begin to address this, it should be heard quickly that one of the things he calls out directly is violence that exploits the poor. Violence that in so many ways is a structure of deceit which violates honor and dignity and goodness. So we can’t indeed engage this passage without starting with the issue of exploitation. And that becomes then the category of contrast. He’s really inviting us, all of us, to look at our economic models, our social structures, the way we live in the world, that again, go back to the categories both deeply personal but also highly cultural, communal, social, and systems are being addressed. Again, your thoughts, my friend,
Wendell: As you’re reading, the word that’s coming to my mind is I feel like, what he does in his passage that in some ways he arrests you. He arrests not only you individually, but he arrests your culture and there’s a sense of a flagrant stop. Look at what you have done and look what you are doing. And there’s a sense that I am angry. When I look at this passage, I feel God’s displeasure, I feel, and there’s a strength to this passage. And again, this passage is kind of a, it’s demanding passage that I demand that you stop, take stock and look at what is happening. I see it. There’s violence, people have been exploited, voices are being diminished. Stop.
Dan: Yeah. And again, I’ll go back to that category when he talks about the a cursed short effort, it’s a measurement. Basically I’m selling you 12 inches of cloth, but I’m only giving you 10, and I am weighing out a pound of flour. But the way the scales are set, you are getting way less than 16 ounces. So we’re talking about structures that are indeed a reflection of greed, of exploitation, of having power that comes primarily through an economic approach that deprives people of both honor and dignity of truth.
Wendell: And that feels like that the whole idea of people in power and therefore you’re not using your power well, there is a misuse of power. You are using your power to deceive.
Dan: Yes, yes. So one of the things that I want to say right from the beginning is I don’t believe any system reflects the heart of God. It isn’t that I am opposed to capitalism. I certainly am not a socialist. Yet, when we begin to have a passage like this, it requires us to step into again this intersection between the personal and the systemic. And it opens the door to the reality that yes, he’s specifically engaging people, individuals, but there is a sense in which he’s actually naming. This is how the merchants, this is how those with power are actually depriving people of goodness and honor. So before we get to that Micah 6:8, I want to step back to be able to say, where does that take you as you hear the intersection of a form of injustice that is primarily being spoken of with regard to economic models?
Wendell: Yeah. Well first of all, when we think about systems, when we think about models, the problem that you’ll always run into is that they are set up with not everybody in mind. They probably have a particular people in mind. Any kind of system is going to fall short and not being able to hold the whole collective, I mean, what system do you know that exists that holds everyone globally? Of course not. So when we think about it, any kind of economic system, it is going to be wrought with you had someone in mind, and therefore it is going to benefit not everyone, but a particular people.
Dan: And so the benefit becomes to the particular group I likely am in versus the benefit to the flourishing of the entire collective. So that already begins to ask where is there privilege within economic systems? And has there ever been any system that is oriented to the whole versus the particular part?
Wendell: And I would say no, because when that system was created, tell me who was at the table, who was at the table. But then, tell me who wasn’t at the table. And the minute you tell me who wasn’t at the table and who was at the table, then I can tell you, okay, this voice was here, this voice wasn’t here. So how do you know what those folk need, whose voice you did not bring to the table? So we already have an unequal voice from the very beginning,
Dan: And we go back to the structure that’s always been the case will likely essentially be the predominant structure for who knows into perpetuity. But those who are not at the table are seldom, shall we say, invested with power to be at the table, let alone to have a voice that actually can change the overall structure for what’s done within not just an economic model, but in any place where there is power. So wherever there is power, it doesn’t mean that power is bad or wrong, it’s the question of, and I can’t say it better, I’m just repeating the brilliance of what you brought the question at the table, the question who’s not at the table…
Wendell: And one, what is your bias around the people? How come they’re not at the table? How did that happen that they’re not at the table? Well, is it they didn’t want to come to the table? Why aren’t they there? I think that’s always the question because often the people who are not at the table there’s a reason they’re not there. And often it’s not because they don’t want to be there, but often they haven’t been invited to the table by those at the table. And that’s often certain thoughts/stereotypes about those who aren’t at the table. So there’s some kind of even implicit, “they don’t deserve to be at the table.”
Dan: Well, now we’re stepping really quickly into the category that where there’s power, there’s often the presence of bias that has not actually been articulated because it doesn’t need to be articulated because we at the table know that we are the smarter, the richer, the clearer about what needs to be done. And again, I’m not just thinking economic models here. I’m talking about family decisions. I’m talking about organizational structures. And again, this is a passage, whole book, focused primarily on leaders, priests, prophets are being exposed. The priests are essentially covering over the nature of the harm that apparently most everybody knows and the profits, Micah is particularly, shall we say stringently, angry at the profits who are feeding their employers, what the employers want to hear in order to justify the ongoing execution of this fundamental division. So again, just at least to be as clear as I can be, I grew up in an era where I saw the effects of Marxism. I saw the effects of socialism. I don’t think there is any question, at least in my mind. It is a deeply dark and wicked structure that is brought about probably more deaths, at least in the 20th century than any particular system. I grew up basically as a young Marxist was trained within my college setting to think within Marxist categories. So if the listener is basically going, ah, this is a left wing approach to blah, blah, blah, it’s like step back. We’re talking about your family, we’re talking about how power gets used, who’s at the table? Who’s not at the table, who has a voice? Why aren’t those voices there? That is not an issue of Capitalism/Marxism, a structure of systemic orientation toward employers and those who work for them. Employees. Were talking about how power gets misused to exploit. And whether you are an exploiter, you also know that you’ve been exploited, at least if you live in a fallen world. And I happen to live in a fallen world, and there’s realities that the book of Micah forces me to engage with regard to my own children, with regard to my own economics, with regard to friendships. This is a passage that calls us into, I think you put it again brilliantly to stop and go, oh, how is exploitation and power being misused?
Wendell: And if I may even go back to something you said, like there’s something in particular to the stop because what Micah and what God’s addressing it is not just hurting those voices who are not there. It’s also hurting those who are there. And so it’s something about those who are doing exploitation, but do they have any kind of imagination that they have been exploited? Yeah, because I’ve, I’ve worked with this issue enough that you will turn your head as long as you don’t think it affects you. But if you allow yourself to have the idea that, oh, by the way, this system, even a system that has benefited you, has also robbed you, even if it’s a robbed you of your own humanity.
Dan: Yes, yes. well, and again, I didn’t read on, but let me just read one more verse out of verse 14. “As for you, you will eat and not be sated and your filth shall be within you.” Let me be real clear what that passage is saying. You gain through, in some form of injustice, the food, but your food, number one, will not satisfy you. And again, one of the reasons I like Alter’s translation is it gets really clear, you’re going to end up constipated you. Your filth within you will not be released. So…
Wendell: Essentially you’ll choke on it.
Dan: Yeah. Well, and again, anybody who’s known constipation, knows it. I mean some of the surgeries I’ve had, the pain itself of the recovery was largely because the use of narcotics created a slow process of being able in that translation to evacuate. And when the evacuation didn’t occur, some of the greatest misery. So what we’re naming is we all know exploitation. We all know we’ve exploited. We’ve used others in a way in which there has been some degree of dishonor, some degree of the violation of the plan of God. Again, goes back to what he says earlier in that chapter, a myriad of oil sacrifice. No, a thousand, 10,000 cattle sacrificed. And again, hopefully people heard what this passage said, should I sacrifice my child to cover my sin? And on that child’s sacrifice, animal sacrifice, oil poured out, the scripture’s abundantly clear. This is not what I want, but what I do want is these three things. I want you to act justly. I want you to love mercy. I want you to walk humbly. So I would love for you to just begin when you hear those three words, walk us through what you have done with those words.
Wendell: Yeah, well, I think to even get to those words, well, I think specifically about verse 8, just how this begins. He has shown you, I’m using, I’m reading from the NIV. He has shown you one, he’s showing you, what is good. That’s a big statement. He has shown you what is good. This is not an option. This is what is the heart of God. And then the next step, not only is it good, but what does the Lord, it is required. So we’re not talking about this passage as an option and we’re not talking about it even more. This is good, as in this is good for you, even though I mean this past, essentially the prophets, these folks who are doing exploitation, this is Micah saying to them, for you to be exposed and for you to give up your exploitation is good for you. The justice that is due to you. Sounds crazy, but it is good for you to act justly and be exposed and also exposed is good for you and required of you. So I think just how this is set up before we even get to the justly, mercy and humbly. That it’s good and required, cannot be underscored enough.
Dan: And it is, in some sense, I want to add that phrase. It’s obvious. It is right in front of you. And it, it’s almost in the sinews of how I created you. You were meant for justice. And you think about, I mean, I have grandchildren, I have children and watching them interact and this simple phrase of that’s not fair. It’s one of the early statements, particularly between siblings of, it’s just not fair. And then the question of, well, what is fair. What is just, and again, Micah’s not answering it other than to create the contrast. He doesn’t give us clarity of do these 4 things, do these 10 things. And there’s going to be a debate, a huge debate as to what does justice mean. And again, I’m not going to take folks back to Aristotle’s fifth book of ethics and begin the process of saying, this is something that has been thought about for a long season, thousands of years. But this statement made 27 centuries ago, I think has to hold for us that these conversations are not going to be easy. They’re not going to be fun. There’s going to be, shall we say, differences, maybe strong between the left and the right, between the Democrat, the Republican. Yeah, the independent. But can we at least say justice is where it begins?
Wendell: And a key word, I see this word to act justly. When I think about act, I remember my a phrase my mom used to say to me often, boy, sit down and act like you got some sense. Now, that is not about, that’s hold attention. You may want to do this, you might want to do this, and you don’t have to want to, but I need you to act like you got some sense. Meaning you sit down and you like this, you what else’s happened internally. Okay. But act like you got some sense. So this sense of act justly, it’s almost a sense of you don’t have to like it, you act justly it. It’s not option. So that sense of, okay, I’m almost into my fear of what am I going to have to give up if I go forth with justice? I’m have to hold attention. What if it costs me something? And again, you don’t have to like it, and that may not feel good, but nonetheless, you are called to act justly.
Dan: Yeah, yeah. So well said.
Wendell: I had to mess with that word act justly. And even the idea of now me moving into, I love just the movement, acting justly and loving mercy. And we’ve already, we’ve often heard those sermons where justice and mercy are, or I’ve heard ’em like these are twins. But I tell you what, they’re sometimes my experience, they haven’t been very friendly twins. Because there’s sometimes where when I want justice and mercy can be difficult because what’s often taught, when mercy’s talked about, it’s often brought forth in this really anemic way where it’s almost like to act justly and to exonerate me or to let me off the hook, or to don’t make me uncomfortable, to act justly and to love not making me uncomfortable, but it’s like to love mercy. So let’s talk about mercy.
Dan: Yep. Yep.
Wendell: It’s like we don’t talk about mercy as, man… Mercy can actually, my mercy was when my mother’s like, I’m going to spank you because it’s going to be helpful for me to spank you right now because of what’s going to happen to you if I don’t. And they get you. So from that standpoint, do you understand the sense of mercy is to actually me calling you forth is mercy.
Dan: Yeah. I had a friend of mine going through a really hard process of cancer care and treatment, and we were reflecting on this passage. And at one point he said to me, in some ways, cancer is a form of profound body exploitation. It’s literally eating me alive. And the question of what does it mean to act justly is in some sense to put myself in a place where mercy can open the door to change. And in that I’m like, say it again. And he said, I’ve heard you teach it before. Why aren’t you getting it? And I’m like maybe because I don’t want to get it. And what he said was, chemotherapy is a form of mercy. It’s giving me what my body needs to actually be restored to what it was that’s right. That’s where again, to go back that the Hebrew word for justice is also the same root word for righteousness — for rightness. So when we live right-ly, we’re, we’re actually living in a way that bears the presence of justice. But we also know that none of us will sustain any kind of rightness, whether it’s flossing or whether it’s living well economically with the gifts we’ve been given. But in the light of what we’re meant to do with our own wealth, we will need the, in one sense, the infusion of mercy for the sake of restoration. Is that what I’m hearing you say?
Wendell: Yeah. Big time. And I think what’s comes to mind is that when that old phrase of people say, mercy is God not giving you what you deserve. There’s a sense of, man, I mean mercy, you’re right, is, I mean, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to say something or do something, and I didn’t want to be kind. But I knew, and this is why I think about Romans 2:4 where mercy actually was. It wasn’t, it wasn’t feeble. It wasn’t anemic, but it was actually a weapon. And so there was something of, I won’t give you what you deserve, but you’re going to hear me and I’m going to invite you to more.
Dan: Yeah. So this intersection of, look, there’s a rightness for how we are meant to be together, but without loving mercy. And I think the thing for me has been this clarity of, do I love mercy for me at one level? Yes. Because I know what I deserve. But then the larger question is, do I really want mercy? Do I really love mercy? Meaning that mercy itself is the acknowledgement, I am not right. And I am not just,
Wendell: Yeah. And the thing is, and I love what you just said then, because I think a lot of times mercy is supposed to feel good. And what you just described that the way that knowledge that, I’m to acknowledge what I’ve done wrong, that is not always feel good.
Dan: No, no.
Wendell: And so even offer mercy, it’s not about making you feel good. It’s about again the whole passage, oh, this is harming you. Not just me, but it’s harming you.
Dan: Yeah. So if I’m reluctant to, in one sense, love, mercy, even for myself, how much then am I, even more so not loving mercy that I’m called to offer to those who have been in some form unjust toward me. So the intersection here of, I love the fact that the brilliance of Micah is he’s setting out, look, if you talk about mercy before you talk about justice, you’re always going to be in a direction of self-absorption, or a loss of reality. So do you act and again, I thank your mother for her wisdom, but in that sense, before anything else happens, you better set yourself in the direction that has the potential to create flourishing for all, not just for you, not just for your own particular world. So that then requires the engagement of, am I willing to bless my enemy? And my enemy is the one who at least I perceive to be the one who has been unjust, who has brought harm to me. Do I love mercy? And I think that’s one of the issues, I’ve got with a lot of people whom I know who are advocates with regard to what I’ll just call in the broad sense, advocates of the left, advocates of the right people who are disposed to critiquing other views of life and other views of how we are meant to live. There just seems to be a failure to love mercy that keeps the judgment of your unrighteous. You are unjust from actually having a frame to be heard well. So these two are bound together.
Wendell: Oh, they are bound together. And like you said, to, just do mercy without justice again. Again, it makes mercy really, really anemic. Because even as you talk about blessing your enemy, well again, mercy being together with justice is I’m going to, I get to stand, be before you and call you and call you around your injustice. Now I get to bless you. That doesn’t mean I don’t kind of step back and go, you know what? I need to step away cause you still harming me. I need to bless you with truth. So part of blessing, blessing my enemies to speak honest and speak truth, that’s part of justice that feels like the integration of both. And so even as we talk about blessing the enemy, because even when I hear people when often say that bless your enemy in some ways it, it’s often don’t make them uncomfortable.
Wendell: There’s a sense of don’t… be easy, don’t be angry. And it’s like, oh, okay. So if I’m not angry, I’m not living out this passage. I’m not living out this justice piece. So actually I’m not blessing you if I can’t, I’m not blessing you if I can’t show you even with how God has made me with a Godly anger or Godly sorrow. That is all part of the integration of justice and mercy.
Dan: Right, and right there, I mean, you’re talking about the fact that nobody can pull this off. I mean, if there are those who can do so, may it be heard well. I mean, the closest I know, at least in written form is Martin Luther King Jr.’s letter from the Birmingham Jail. It is again, one of those gifts that I give myself every MLK Jr. day to read through that whole letter because the brilliance of exposure and kindness. And yet in a unrelenting invitation to change. And yet the holding of that, within that frame I would say it opens up that third category. And that is I don’t think anybody is going to do this well, but there are some who will be louder and clearer about injustice. There’ll be others who want to, in some sense, champion mercy. But if we own that, whether again, we’re looking at systemic or theoretical or personal, the reality is, I can’t hold the two very long or very well. And can I own that? In other words, can I walk humbly given the reality that the first two require more than what my own being seems to be able to live?
Wendell: And that word humbly, I think, one of, I love the way you put it. There’s something, humility is what it’s going to take to do both of these. I think it, it’s going to be humility to take and acknowledge that I may not always do it right, but you know what? I have to humble myself and be able to come back because it’s the humility that is going to enable me to be able to come back and try again and again and again to act justly and love mercy so that it require, I think there’s a reason that it’s a third. This is feel like this is the ground, by the way. It’s going to take humble, humility with God in order to do these first two.
Dan: Yeah. Yeah. Well, and the question that came to me 35 some years ago when I started addressing sexual abuse, and I think there were some very good and sincere people. I’m thinking of a particular pastor who just said, can’t you let this go? Can’t we just forgive and move on without actually having to talk about it. Because it makes people feel guilty. It makes them feel like they were complicit. And even if they weren’t the perpetrators, they’ve in some sense added to the debris of harm by their own unwillingness in this case to address injustice, to actually expose our need for mercy, but also to do so with humility. So before we end that is part of the conversation with regard to all forms of exploitation, be it abuse or be it in any form of white supremacy, any form of the violation of human dignity. So before we end, how have you thought about this passage, particularly as a Black man?
Wendell: It’s been a passage where, I’ve actually, I’ve wrestled with this passage. Cause in some ways, I’ve had this passage brought up to me so often. Brought up to me, but brought up to again, and I’ll just keep you this word, in a really anemic way. And I think one of the things that I really had to be before Jesus and really allow him to one, really step into this passage, realizing, oh, this passage is inviting me to consider my own heart, be willing to share with how I’m experiencing you. And knowing that, you know what? In my humility, if I’m humble, then as a Black man, I tend to actually love mercy much better in my humility. Actually, no, my humility actually more of a truth teller in my humility actually in, and actually my humility, I’m actually more dangerous. In my… when I’m humble. I mean, again, here we are, Romans 2:4 “Does not the kindness of God lead you to repentance. But there’s something about this humbly, because I also let God also allow what is God to check me in places to actually, but in God checking me, he’s like, oh, but there’s an effect there. But there’s a way to live this out in a way that is piercing. To call people to justice and to love mercy. But you’ll need me to do it. And I needed Jesus to help me to live out this passage every day over and over and over again.
Dan: Well, and where it puts me is so often to step back to say, context is the very, very realm that none of us see. It is the water that the fish swims in. And to then begin to look at what have been, shall we say, the unique benefits of having my gender, my skin, my education, and to be able to say, no, it wasn’t just hard work that enabled me to get to where I’m at. There were advantages, there were privileges, there were systemic structures that made it, in some sense, easier for me versus more difficult for you. And in that we can either posture with guilt, which is in some ways a violation of both justice, mercy, and humility. Or we can in one sense, critique that and stick with our own perception of justice versus being asked the hard questions.
Wendell: And Dan, and what you just, I think could really, really what you were talking about, Dan, that required humility. It requires humility for you to say, I had privilege. I had some help getting to where I got. Again, you can’t do that without humility. Cause, and this, that’s where you end up if you’re talk, having a discussion with self-righteousness. Oh man.
Dan: So if we can, as we come to an end, the issue of justice is can we expose the natural orientation to exploitation, which is another word for the word lust. Can we actually see that in some ways, the commitment to mercy is our own disruption of anger, justified so-called, that almost always ends to some degree in trying to degrade those who we perceive or actually brought us harm. So if we can begin to disrupt exploitation and degradation, it opens up the possibility again of what scripture is most deeply committed to disrupting. And that is self-righteousness. And that is the gift of humility is, yeah, we’re not meant to be empty and we’re not meant to be constipated. And the only way our bodies, our relationships are going to work is if we have the courage, both interpersonally, intra-personally, systemically, to at least ask the question, where have I been exploited? Where have I exploited? Where have I been degraded? Where do I degrade? Where am I functioning with a heightened degree of my own self-righteousness?
Wendell: And if I may add one more, and the word that you’ve, you’ve used several times in the last 30 seconds, what will I be committed to? Because this passage is inviting you to a commitment. It is good. It is required. Will you be committed? And I think to live out this passage, it does not happen without humility and a commitment, a intentional commitment. Again, act justly. Like again, I don’t care what my mom, boy, I don’t care if you like it, you ain’t got to. It’s uncomfortable. Got it. But I need you to commit that you’re going to sit down and do what I ask. And there’s something so that the commitment, this feels important to emphasize here.
Dan: Well and brilliantly, so intentional. Commitment comes out of the intentionality. Do we want this passage to shape our lives?
Dan: Thank you, my friend.
Wendell: You’re welcome. It’s good, Dan. Thank you.