Act justly, love mercy and walk humbly

February 19th, 2020

We’ve all heard the two familiar adages that express opposite perspectives: “Rules are meant to be broken” and “follow the rules.” There are, however, exceptions to both. Rules should be taken seriously and not broken on a personal whim. On the other hand, rules that are harmful and unjust should not be followed. Throughout the history of the world, there are numerous examples of unjust and harmful rules and rulers. Rules and laws are meant to enhance the dignity of society and not degrade people groups or individuals. The Jim Crow laws of the South were legal but certainly not just or moral. The civil disobedience of the Civil Rights Movement brought about legal change, but legal change does not change hearts. Underlying racism and hidden injustices remain too prevalent in our world. One wonders if the recent case of Deandre Arnold is an example.


Deandre Arnold, a senior at a school in the Barber Hills Independent School District in Texas was suspended and threatened that he could not walk at graduation if he didn’t cut his dreadlocks. Celebrities Ellen DeGeneres and Alicia Keys presented Deandre with a $20,000 check toward his college education and publicly pleaded with the school to reconsider their action. Also, Deandre received a treat when he recently attended the Oscars with Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade, producers of the movie Hair Love. In an interview with CNN, D Wade is quoted as saying, “this was the least we could do.”

The school district stated the handbook has included rules on hair length for at least thirty years. They explained the problem is with the length of the dreads and not the style. Deandre said that his father is from Trinidad and his dreads are part of his identity and culture.

God’s expectation

Micah 6:8 states God’s requirement that we act justly, love mercy and walk humbly. Rules that are unjust leave no room for mercy, are not enacted humbly, and are detrimental to individual worth and societal dignity.

For a complete lesson on this topic visit LinC.

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