Seek Ye First

Katie Franzen | October 5, 2022

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Matthew 6:33

Growing up in a small town, I wasn’t exposed to many examples of what it would look like to be a working mom, even though it’s something I aspired to be. The first memorable example I saw was in Clair Huxtable. Phylicia Rashad played this memorable matriarch on TV. She portrayed what it was like to be a brilliant, poised, hard-working, successful businesswoman who was also a profoundly loving and intentional mom. It wasn’t until I became an adult that I began to realize what her character meant as a role model to the Black community. What I did know is that her example resonated with me, even as a young white girl. 

In one particular episode, Clair leads a choir in a song called, “All Good Things Will Be Added Unto You.” To say I was captivated would be an understatement—she could sing, too! What I didn’t realize at that time, is that my admiration for Clair and her deeply moving voice would sear the lyrics into my mind for years to come, lyrics that were actually rooted in today’s Scripture passage. 

As we think about the pursuit of Biblical justice, I can’t help but think of this song and this passage. Justice is not just a political topic and not simply righting wrongs. Justice is about the restoration of shalom, God’s Kingdom as it was intended to be. If we want to pursue justice, we must first, and always, start by seeking God’s Kingdom. If we desire righteousness, a word inextricably connected to the word justice in the Old Testament, we must first seek God’s Kingdom. Until we study and intimately know the shalom that His Kingdom ushers in, we will unintentionally distort justice. Justice becomes about what we think is right instead of what God created as good and right. Justice is cheapened. 
A Biblical pursuit of justice can not be separated from shalom. That does not mean that the pursuit of justice is always easy, nor that it is passively achieved. It does, however, mean that as we pursue God’s justice, we will always be drawing nearer to Him in the process.

Next Steps

  • What are the ways that you have unintentionally pursued your own version of justice, as opposed to seeking God’s Kingdom, and the shalom that that pursuit produces?