In this series, we’ve seen how important it is to meditate on what is true and noble. The next concept in the list is, “whatever things are just”. What does it mean to be just? How can we think about being just? What can a kid do to be just? Let’s explore this important topic!
Let’s start by learning what it means to be just. Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Strong’s Definitions defines “just” in Philippians 4:8 as equitable, innocent, right, righteous, “rendering to each his due”, and one who is “as he ought to be”. Being just means being fair and doing what is right. God’s Word and His law give true Christians a clear standard of what is right and what is wrong. Psalm 119:172 tells us that all of God’s commandments are righteousness. This tells us that anything that goes against the 10 Commandments is wrong to think, say, or do. The world (maybe our teachers, our friends, or what we see on television or out in public) will tell us otherwise. Some people in the world don’t use the Bible to say what is right and wrong, or they have a misunderstanding of what the Bible actually says.
Being just means being fair and doing what is right.
To meditate on justice means to think deeply about what God defines as just and right. Our goal is to match our thoughts to God’s thoughts, not the other way around. Students of the Bible must look to God for what is just and fair and learn what to do about it.
Let’s consider some ways to think and speak what is just.
Think what is just
To think what is just, try to:
Think about people from the Bible who set an example of being just, especially Jesus Christ’s example. Look up the word “just” in the concordance, read the scriptures with that word in them, and think about how you can apply them to your thoughts, words, and actions. Romans 1:17 tells us, “The just shall live by faith.” Consider how to live by faith, with complete trust and belief in God helping during whatever hard times you are going through or will go through.
Think about ways you can be just at home, at school, or at church. At home, do you do all the chores your parents tell you to do, or do you try to get away with not getting chores done? Do you talk the same way at school as you do in front of your parents? At church, do you pay attention to the sermon, or do you daydream about what you want to do when the Sabbath is over?
Consider how to live by faith, with complete trust and belief in God helping during whatever hard times you are going through or will go through.
Remember that fair does not always mean equal. Older siblings get to do different things from younger siblings because they are older. Parents get to do certain things children don’t get to do because they are adults. We all have different challenges in life because we are all different. God knows what we are doing well and where we need to grow. Maybe what seems unfair is a chance to grow in patience!
To think what is just, try not to:
Make excuses for disobeying your parents and God. It is so easy to think that rules are unfair and that our parents don’t want us to have fun. It’s easy to think, “If only my brother or sister would stop being annoying, then my life would be much better!” We can’t control what other people do, but we can control our thoughts, words, and behaviors. It’s up to us, with God’s help, to choose the right way to live, which means honoring our parents.
Make decisions about what is just and right without considering God’s word. The world and its influences are all around us every day, and if we aren’t careful, we might think something is just when the Bible tells us it is unjust. The world might say, “How can you be a Christian if you don’t celebrate Jesus’ birth at Christmas?” By reading the Bible, we can learn the just, right way to honor Christ.
Think your own personal sins are not as bad as someone else’s sins. All sin leads to the same consequence. We are only to compare ourselves to Christ, not to other kids or adults ( 2 Corinthians 10:2 )! When we compare ourselves to Christ, we will see where we need to change to be more like Him.
Speak what is just
To speak what is just, try to:
Talk about the things you are thankful for. The world wants us all to think that we need more toys, that other kids have better stuff than we do, or that other kids’ parents let them do more than what our parents let us do. Take a moment to think about all the good things we have in our lives. Go to God to thank Him for all those things because all good things come from Him ( James 1:17 ). If we are having trouble thinking of what to be thankful for, ask God to help us remember our blessings. Go to our parents and thank them for the clothes we have, for the place we live in, for the food we get to eat, and for the activities we get to do together. Thank our siblings for playing with us or for sharing their toys with us. Thank our grandparents for the time they spend with us and the fun things we do together. There are many people we can show thankfulness to—teachers, neighbors, grocery store workers, bus drivers, and friends.
Go to God to thank Him for all those things because all good things come from Him.
Ask your parents questions about what is just and right. Are you wondering how to explain why Christmas is not just? Talk to your parents. Is it hard to understand how your really nice school friends or neighbor friends (who have not yet been called by God) are being unjust by not observing the Sabbath and holy days? Ask your parents. Then listen to and think about their answers. Still don’t understand? Keep praying for understanding, asking questions, discussing, and listening to your parents!
To speak what is just, try not to:
Be argumentative. Arguing is sometimes led by those strong emotions of anger, jealousy, or pride, and arguing usually means we think we know better than the person we are talking to. When we argue, we are not putting the other person’s thoughts, preferences, or ideas before our own like we are told to do in Philippians 2:3 . We are also told to do all things without complaining and disputing so that we may be blameless and harmless, shining light into the dark world ( Philippians 2:14-15 ). We want to be blameless and harmless, shining a bright light of truth and justice! When you feel like arguing with your parents, siblings, or friends, ask yourself, “Do I want to be right according to me or according to God?”
Tell a lie because you are afraid of what will happen if you tell the truth. There will come times when you think that lying will get you out of trouble. The apostle Paul went through many scary times in his life, and one way he was able to get through those difficulties was living by faith. He tells us in Galatians 3:11 that the just live by faith. As you read the Bible, you are being just by building your faith. God will help you through all of your challenging circumstances when you ask Him for help to say and do the right thing during stressful times. We can do this!
Do what is just
To obey God, we must do what is right, rather than simply hearing what is right ( Romans 2:13 ). Jesus Christ lived a life of teaching and also doing what He taught. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever ( Hebrews 13:8 ), and He wants us to imitate Him! It is easy to say we obey God, but do our thoughts and actions show that? Actions speak louder than words and show who we really are on the inside ( Proverbs 20:11 ). If we say one thing and do another, then we are not being just. God looks at our hearts and actions to see if we are choosing to live in a just way.
Every day we can do our best to be just by obeying all of God’s 10 Commandments. Some might be harder for us to obey than others, but the more we do it, the better we will get!
Meditate on what is just
We have read this far about justice, so we care about learning how to meditate on what is just—good job! Meditating on what is just helps to prepare us for the tricky things in life that come up, like what we should do when Mom, Dad, Aunt, Uncle, Grandpa, or Grandma are not looking. It helps us to know and understand God’s point of view of right and wrong. Meditating on justice helps us to do the right thing (even when it’s hard) and to run far away from doing the wrong thing. When we think and live in a just way, fruits of the Spirit will grow in us!
Further Your Study
In Philippians 4:8 Paul tells us to meditate on certain things, including "whatever things are true." But what is truth? Read More >
In Philippians 4:8 Paul tells us to meditate on "whatever things are noble." How must we think about true things that are also noble? Read More >