Today’s reading from the Hope for Dinner prayer guide focuses on Micah 6:8. The words from this often-quoted passage compel readers to ‘do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly.’ It is common for us to start with passionate intentions towards the ‘do justice’ part, wrap up our gracious actions in warm blanket of ‘love mercy,’ and inevitably taper off, by accident or misunderstanding, by the time we get to ‘walk humbly.’
What then, we ask, is humility? Is it deflecting compliments? Is it thinking of yourself as less? Is it living a more passive existence? I would like to suggest that ‘walking humbly’ is simply an invitation to make room for others. We recognize that we are not the only characters in this big, beautiful, redemptive story that God is writing.
To make room, we must keep others in mind as we choose our lifestyle. In light of the existence of others, we don’t hoard ‘stuff,’ as the writer of James encourages us in the 4th and 5th chapter of his book.
We can have a tendency to first make sure we have what we need, go on to gather a self-proclaimed ‘reasonable’ amount of things that we want, and then merely give ‘what we can’ to others. But to ‘walk humbly,’ we must be in constant consideration of the other characters in the story. We must assess what we have to offer by first considering what others need or may simply benefit from.
Let’s continue to champion the fight against injustices like poverty, hunger, and violence against the vulnerable. But in order to do the kind of justice that God reminds us to do in Micah 6:8, let us also partner our efforts with a commitment to live a lifestyle of moderation.
3 Ways to Make Room Today:
Make Room in Your Finances:
Practice giving. Don’t merely decide to be a generous person. Practice. Take $5, put it in your pocket, and look for an opportunity to give it away.
Make Room in Your Schedule:
Intentionally take one goal, one task, or one TV show out of your day, and give that time away. Give it to a child, to a co-worker, or to a stranger. Be more present and generous with your schedule.
Make Room in Your Conversation:
A moderate lifestyle is not an individual thing; it is a commitment to make in community. Be intentional about discussing simplicity with your family, roommates, and co-workers. Encourage others to make room as well. Create an atmosphere where awareness, generosity, and story sharing are embraced.
Bonus: Give Thanks
Make a list of 5 things you are thankful for. When we are thankful for what we have, we can be generous with those who have not.