“And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?”
There are not many occasions in the Bible where God spells out so succinctly what He requires of us. Much of the rest of Scripture is given to reveal the myriad of examples of how to, and how not to, fulfil this requirement. Please notice that these are three things we are to do not to receive.
In this world we may want to be dealt with justly but the evidence is that this will not always be the case. Sometimes that is just as well! However, we are to always deal with others in a just and righteous manner regardless of how we are being treated. This is a description of the life of Jesus Christ in us.
Secondly we are to love mercy. When we are walking with Christ we will be as He is. He loved to show kindness to undeserving people and to forgive them when they wronged Him. We will know that we are spiritual people when we also gladly forgive those who have wronged us and no longer hold grudges. It is of no consequence whether the other person is merciful, kind or forgiving to us. If we are in Christ we will delight to show mercy and spontaneously forgive and show kindness.
To “walk humbly” is often misunderstood. In this context it is “walk humbly with your God.” This means to have a right perspective of the relationship between yourself and God. We can start by delighting in the fact that He is our Creator and Sustainer, Redeemer and Saviour. He is the One who is “all in all” and I am the one in need and who can do nothing of myself.
There is a counterfeit humility that parades itself but that has no place in the Christian’s life. Humility can never be consciously achieved because the moment we recognize it in ourselves, pride will sweep it away. Like all aspects of true Christianity the attributes of Christ are either in us spontaneously or they are not there at all. In reality we cannot manufacture Christ likeness. To say we can is to say that we can become a dog by acting like a dog. All that does is make us look foolish. The same is true in the spiritual walk with Christ, it cannot be faked and the fake cannot remain hidden.