Seek justice. Love mercy. Restore hope.
As we walk with prisoners and their families in our daily work, we also advocate for a justice system that upholds restorative values and reflects the dignity of every person impacted by crime.
But what does it mean to act justly—to truly seek justice?
Justice can seem elusive, but it is worth pursuing. Justice is essential to God’s character. Psalm 89:14 says, “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you.” And Micah 6:8 says the Lord requires us “to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
If crime causes harm and ruptures relationships, then justice aims to bring wholeness and open the door to healing. Justice does not merely balance out the scales, exacting punishment proportionate to the offense. It also shines light on wrongdoing, then repairs and makes things right to the extent possible on this side of heaven. Godly justice is fueled by His love: love for the victim of crime, for the prisoner, and for every life the criminal justice system touches.
Justice is a picture of God’s love in action in a broken world. It reflects God’s heart and says, “All is not as it should be—but it should be made right.” It recognizes that there is a place for just punishment and for making amends. At Prison Fellowship® justice is not a matter of politics. It is a matter of following the biblical command to pursue what is right and good.
Crime tears at the fabric of society. It demands a response. Christians are called to seek a just punishment that addresses the wholeness of what has been broken, however possible.
Therefore, in the face of injustice, we choose to care and to act.
When it would be easier to remain passive or apathetic, we must be advocates for the things that God calls good. We must bring His justice, and the healing it can produce, to every area as far as it depends on us.
Prison Fellowship’s founder, Chuck Colson—once a prisoner himself—saw the great need for more humane prison conditions, and that informed his vision for our work as a ministry. As Christians, we ought to care about the way prisoners are treated, because every man and woman behind bars is made in the image of God. In addition, the conditions that surround them today shape the people they will be tomorrow.
We take seriously the ways the Bible frames doing justice in the context of community. We champion justice that restores not only for individuals, but for entire systems that have been broken. And the call is more urgent now than ever. That’s why Prison Fellowship trains advocates who call for criminal justice reform in capitols nationwide. It’s why we equip correctional leaders with tools and a vision to transform their facilities. It’s why we are building a movement for second chances in all of society. Above all, it’s why we hope others will seek justice with us.
Our world is so weary of injustice, and God is creating pathways right now for His justice and righteousness to flow like a river (Amos 5:24). Join us in bringing hope and transformation into the lives of prisoners, families, and our communities. Together, we can replace cycles of crime and incarceration with a cycle of hope and renewal.
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