Building by Justice

by Stan Mitchell
“By justice a king builds up the land, but he who exacts gifts tears it down” (Proverbs 29:4, ESV).
I remember standing on a street corner of an African capital when the nation’s “President for Life” raced by in his motorcade. Uniformed policemen on motorbikes preceded several armored vehicles bristling with weapons. Finally, three Mercedes Benz limousines with windows tinted presumably to keep the exact location of the president a secret moved swiftly, silently by.
I turned to a friend and said, “There goes a well guarded man.” His reply was apt: “No,” he answered, “there goes a frightened man.”
By the way, the president had good reason to be frightened; his is a brutal and unjust rule. He is resented and feared by millions, and assumes that the only way to stay in power is to be more frightening still.
How much easier it would be if he provided a rule characterized by freedom and justice for all! He wouldn’t need the excessive security, because fewer people would want him dead!
In personal relationships, too, we assume that if we want to “get our way,” to avoid having others step all over us, we will have to take the offensive — to step on them first, to insist on our way more loudly.
I have a better idea: Don’t use the KGB. Simply treat people with fairness and kindness!

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