No, O people, the LORD has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8
There was a time when I felt guilty for not ‘doing enough’ for God. Whether it was not reading the Bible enough, going to church enough or donating enough money, I just felt guilty and, for lack of a better term, unworthy to follow Him. As I reflect on this passage, I realize that following God and having a relationship with Him is more simple than I thought.
Micah 6:8 is the prophet’s answer to the Israelites’ question of simply what God wants:
Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of olive oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? Micah 6:7
In the words of Henry and Richard Blackaby in Experiencing God, “At times, we try to make the Christian life far more complicated than it is.” Maybe following God is more simple than one thinks.
When I was praying and asking God to show me how to live a life that honors Him, Micah 6:8 came to me. I realized that at the heart of it all, I need to walk with God day-by-day. In order to do that, I am called to live with integrity, give mercy and have humility.
To seek justice means living with integrity. Whether I’m studying for a test or working on an order for a customer, I should do each of these things with integrity which means not to cheat or plagiarize. To love mercy means praying for the strength to be patient with others and giving them a second chance.
Until recently, I used to enjoy gossiping and finding out the latest dirt. Then I realized that even if they may not be there to hear it, I’m hurting another person by gossiping about them and encouraging that negative word-of-mouth. I’ve been the subject of gossip before as well and it can be pretty discouraging to know that people are talking about your business.
And to walk humbly with Him means living life with humility. As Blackaby says, “God does not ask us for spectacular acts of service – He asks for humility.”
When I started to pray regularly again, I asked God to reveal sins in my life that He wanted to bright to light. Soon, the issue of pride came up and I realized that for a very long time, I’ve been walking around with a chip on my shoulder. Instead of treating everyone the same, I’m ashamed to admit that I thought I was ‘better’ than some people just because of my status or accomplishments. I took myself way too seriously.
After God brought my pridefulness to light, I worked on being humble. I decided to actively work on treating each person equally, letting things go, and taking myself less seriously by not getting easily offended.
In his memoir, “Born Again”, Charles Colson writes about how when we are prideful, we tend to look down on others so we never look up at God. So if I want to pursue a close relationship with God, I have to recognize my pride for what it is and crucify it for His sake.
And so, even though this verse is thousands of years old, it has helped encourage me in my walk with God. It reminds me of the three elements that are crucial to join in His work, to hear from Him and to live a life that glorifies Him.