Justice and Bell Peppers

Author: Taylor Eising — Host: Natty AndersonPosted on: August 31, 2023

Unlocked: Daily Devotions for Teens
Unlocked: Daily Devotions for Teens
Justice and Bell Peppers


I love food. It’s a wonderful way God sustains us, as well as a source of joy, and it often provides opportunities for community. But sometimes I get bogged down wondering about my food. I’ll pull a bell pepper out of its plastic bag, put the bag in the recycling, and wonder if that bag will end up floating around in the ocean for decades. I’ll start cutting up the pepper, and I’ll wonder if it was grown in a way that nourished God’s precious earth, or in a way that robbed the earth of its resources. As I munch on a slice, I’ll wonder if the people who worked to plant, grow, harvest, package, ship, and stock this bell pepper—people made in God’s image—were treated well and paid fairly for their labor, or if they toiled under unjust employers like the Israelites toiled under an unjust Pharaoh in the book of Exodus. Would these people be able to afford to buy the food they’re growing and transporting? I’ll hand a piece of pepper to my three-year-old daughter, and I’ll wonder what the world will be like when she grows up.

Some might say I shouldn’t worry about these things. After all, it’s just a bell pepper. But I don’t think God sees it that way. God cares deeply about the way we treat each other and how well we steward the earth He made. He loves justice, mercy, and compassion…and all of us—including me—fall short of His justice. But I can find rest, even in the midst of this messy world, because God forgives me through Jesus, and He cares about injustice even more deeply than I do. And He is way more powerful.

When I’m overwhelmed by the injustice in this world and in my own heart, I can look to Jesus, who took all that sin and brokenness on Himself as He hung on the cross, then rose from the dead to defeat it. And I can trust that, one day, He will return to resurrect us from the dead and rule over the earth with perfect love and justice.

In the meantime, I can weep with Him, knowing that He feels the hurt even more deeply than I do. And I can listen to the direction of His Holy Spirit to see how I can participate in His kingdom of love and justice, bringing healing to broken places because He is bringing healing to my heart. • Taylor Eising

• How might knowing that God redeems us—even when we feel unredeemable—help us find rest in His goodness and mercy? In the midst of our broken world, how does He give us hope?

Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne. Unfailing love and truth walk before you as attendants. Psalm 89:14 (NLT)