James 5:1-12


How often have you heard a child shout, “That’s not fair!”? Children, even those as young as five, seem hypersensitive to the concept of fairness. They are chiefly concerned with the equitable treatment of themselves rather than the fair treatment of others; that is, they want to receive a share equal to everyone else. If they do not receive an equal share, they feel an injustice has occurred; and they are not necessarily wrong. God also has a keen awareness of injustice because it is contrary to His character, and therefore He judges and condemns it.

Justice is the equitable and impartial application of God’s moral law. Injustice, on the other hand, is the rejection of God’s moral law and His righteous character. Injustice occurs when people do not treat others equitably. Their rejection of God’s righteous standard is revealed in how they relate to others. Those who practice injustice open the door for God to carry out His righteous judgment on them. Greed and hedonism are the two primary causes of practicing injustice. Greedy people want to take advantage of other people for their own benefit. Hedonism, the pursuit of personal pleasure, results in relinquishing someone else’s pleasure and right to progress. That leads to oppression, where people are held back and put in unfavorable circumstances. In either greed or hedonism, someone gets what they want at the expense of others.

The biblical answer to injustice is patience. Patience doesn’t mean that you do nothing, and waiting on the Lord isn’t being passive. Patience means doing something without going outside God’s Word and will by operating within the divine confines of God’s standards. While waiting on the Lord, we can take the opportunity to address issues spiritually and not merely complain about them. If all we do is complain, then we are working against God’s intervention, not for it. God will intervene. Even now, He is at the door. We can trust that He is nearby. The more spiritually we approach injustice, the more we will witness God’s divine intervention. If we patiently wait on Him, God will bring justice and equitable fairness to our life and circumstances.


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Getting Started

  1. Name some situations that would cause a child to say something is unfair.
  2. When do people hate waiting (in line, at the doctor’s office, etc.)?

Let’s Get Personal

  1. Have you experienced injustice in your life? Have you ever shown injustice to someone else?
  2. How has greed or hedonism affected you or the lives of those close to you?
  3. When is it most difficult for you to be patient and wait on God?

Take the Next Step

  1. In what areas of your life do you need to patiently wait on God? Pray for the Lord to intervene in those situations and commit to praying instead of complaining when you are worried.
  2. Whom have you wronged by getting what you want at their expense? How can you make things right with those people this week?
  3. Want to go deeper? Take time to look at the following passages: James 5:1-12; 2 Peter 2:9; 1 Timothy 6:9-10; 1 Timothy 6:17-19; Luke 12:13-21; James 4:12; Deuteronomy 32:3-4; Deuteronomy 4:7-8; Amos 2:6-7; Micah 2:2; Hebrews 2:6; Hebrews 2:9; Psalm 89:14; Micah 6:8; Zechariah 8:14-17; Luke 4:14-25; Malachi 2:17; Luke 10:25-37; Isaiah 40:27-31.

Renew Your Mind

“You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near.”

 James 5:8