Yesterday’s entry focused on a topic related to the justice process: mercy. Justice doesn’t say when God has to equal everything out. This time interval between the unjust action and the equaling out is called “mercy”.
We also saw an example of how having the correct perspective of justice leads to more understanding and intentional progress. A popular and important example is suffering. This example relies on justice and causality.
When a person is suffering, the first thought that races through their mind is “why?” This can take many forms including: “Why is this happening to me?” or “Why can’t I get over this?” This is an appeal to causality.
Remember, causality says specific effects come from specific causes, even if we don’t yet understand the cause. Some people state this as “Everything happens for a reason”. What this does mean is the effects you see came from a specific cause. What this doesn’t mean is that God is the specific cause for everything that has happened.
When something happens to a person that causes suffering, the focus should turn towards determining the cause. What about justice?
Some would say justice proves that he must have done something wrong…that is, suffering is the effect of something he caused. This isn’t necessarily true. We know people do suffer from things they didn’t cause. How do we resolve the apparent contradiction?
There must be two types of suffering. One suffering is a cause and the other is an effect. For instance, if I do something wrong, I cause myself (and possibly others) suffering. This suffering is an EFFECT or a result. In this case, I could limit my punishment by actively repairing the unholy cause and effects.
One example of this occurs with twelve step programs. Part of the process for the person who has admitted their addiction is to realize how their actions have caused their own suffering and the suffering of others. Once this has been realized, the person who CAUSED the suffering actively addresses each person they have injured in an attempt to limit or repair the suffering.
Sometimes the admission is enough. For instance, there may be people who are suffering because of something I did, yet they don’t know I did it. So their suffering takes on the form we saw earlier: “Why is this happening to me?” They can’t seem to move on because they can’t get an answer. When I tell them their suffering has been caused by me, they can now move on because they know the cause.
However, if I don’t cause my suffering, then the suffering occurs for no just reason. This suffering is a CAUSE. What does justice say about this situation? It appears that justice says I’m due a value because my suffering is unjust.
Remember, justice is going to make everything eventually EXACTLY equal out. How much of a benefit am I due? It depends on how I handled the suffering. If I was unjust during the handling of the suffering; then justice will lessen the value due to me.
My benefit (effect) is a result of how I handle the suffering. If I handle the suffering well, then I am due the value. If I handle the suffering poorly, then I receive little to no value. That leads to a mind blowing conclusion…
Justice not being IMMEDIATELY upheld in this world actually allows us the opportunity to acquire value.
Earlier we saw one way to receive value through justice was to give a value to someone who won’t (enemies) or can’t (disadvantaged) pay you back. Now we’ve seen a second way to receive a value: handle injustice well.
Tomorrow we will look at the key to handling injustice well and the implications.