Act Justly, Love Mercy and Walk Humbly With Your God

Micah was a prophet of God around 700 B.C. He prophesied God’s judgement and God’s justice on Judah and Israel because of their sin. He spoke to the leaders of Jacob and rulers of Israel — the haters of good and lovers of evil (Micah 3:2) — of God’s desire to redeem his people.

Through Micah, God promised to send a new ruler for his people — one to stand and shepherd his flock so they may live securely and with peace (Micah 5) — and he spoke of what repentance should look like:

  • Act justly.
  • Love mercy.
  • Walk humbly with God.
“He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?”
— Micah 6:8, NKJV

Each phrase tells us about a posture of living that is pleasing to God, and they echo the commandments Jesus speaks in Matthew 22:37-40 when he establishes precisely what God requires of us.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. ’This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

With Micah 6:8, the Lord tells us how he wants us to love him and love our neighbor. To act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with him.

Act Justly / Do Justice

Acting justly involves being just and doing justice. “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. (Proverbs 31:8, New International Version)

At Compassion, we choose to live out this command and act justly by releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name. We work to help children become who God intends them to be by helping them develop holistically — physically, socially, emotionally and spiritually — so they can experience the opposite of what poverty says they deserve.

Love Mercy / Show Mercy

Mercy is the compassionate treatment of those in need, especially when it is within one’s power to punish or harm them.

Mercy appears in God’s word in relation to forgiveness or withholding punishment. For example, God the Father showed us mercy when he sacrificed his son, Christ Jesus, on the cross to pay the price for our sins, even when he could have chosen to punish us.

Mercy is the fruit of compassion, and at Compassion, when we act to alleviate the suffering of children living in poverty, we are actively “loving mercy.”

Walk Humbly with Your God

Humility is essential to recognizing and accepting our total dependence on God. God has given us everything, even the gift of life. And without God’s grace and Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, we would be separated from God and under judgement for the weight of our sin.

At Compassion, Jesus is the core of our ministry. His life, teachings and character shape our programs and guide how we love people, respect communities and cooperate with nations. We strive to walk humbly with our God as we minister in his name.

An Invitation to Walk Humbly With God

Think about your relationship with God as taking a walk with a wise teacher. That’s what it was like for Jesus’ disciples. They walked with their rabbi — the Hebrew word for teacher — around Israel as he spoke of the Kingdom of God and proclaimed good news to the poor, liberty to the captives and the year of the Lord’s favor (Luke 4:18-19, NIV).

As they walked with and followed Jesus, they also listened and asked him questions. They were welcomed, invited to engage and learn — as we still are today.

“Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls”
— Matthew 11:29, New American Standard Bible.  

Walking Humbly With God Means Letting Him Teach Us What Is Good

Jesus brought together loving God and loving neighbors in Matthew 22. He communicated his expectation and desire for us, his deeply loved children, to treat each other fairly and with kindness — with justice and mercy.

When we are not walking with God and are immersed in our sins, it’s hard to reflect God’s mercy and tenderness to others. But when we walk with God, we learn to love our neighbors and fellow human beings in concrete ways because we have been shown what is good (Micah 6:8, NKJV). We do not have to guess or figure it out for ourselves. 

Romans 12:2 (New Living Translation) talks about it this way.

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”

We Love Our Neighbors When We Act Justly and Love Mercy

When our lives are renewed in Christ through accepting his death and resurrection and learning to follow him, we want our lives to transform for good. This is where we join God’s people in acting justly and loving mercy.

Here are some verses that, like Micah 6:8, give examples of how we can do good to our neighbors.

Acting Justly
  • “Thus hath Jehovah of hosts spoken, saying, Execute true judgment, and show kindness and compassion every man to his brother” (Zechariah 7:9, American Standard Version).
  • “Pay to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; respect to whom respect; honor to whom honor” (Romans 13:7, NASB)
  • “… learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow's cause” (Isaiah 1:17, English Standard Version). 
Loving Mercy

The command to love mercy can also be translated “love kindness,” and these Bible verses show us how it delights God when we are kind and merciful. 

  • “For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.” (Hosea 6:6, King James Version [KJV])
  • “[Jesus asked], ‘Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?’ [The lawyer] said, ‘The one who showed him mercy.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘You go, and do likewise.’” (Luke 10:36-37, ESV)
  • “Be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you,” (Ephesians 4:32, NASB)

A Practical Application of Micah 6:8 — Child Sponsorship

A child living in poverty often experiences the world as unkind and uncaring. When you sponsor a child, you directly apply Micah 6:8 to the brokenness of this world. Sponsoring a child allows you to act justly and love mercy as you care for a child through prayers, encouraging letters and financial support.

Through the care you help provide, your sponsored child will experience God’s mercy, love, grace and kindness. They’ll receive:

  • Nutritious meals and supplements.
  • Access to safe drinking water and improved sanitation.
  • Tutoring, mentoring and tuition assistance.
  • Hygiene training and regular health checkups.
  • Vaccinations, medicine and emergency medical care.
  • Life skills training.
  • The opportunity to hear about Jesus, read and learn scripture and accept Jesus as Savior.

As you “walk humbly with thy God”(21st Century King James Version), may your heart and mind be transformed by Christ’s teachings and your life be poured out for the good of your neighbors.

Show Mercy to a Child Living in Poverty. Become a Child Sponsor Today!

Give With Confidence

With Compassion, your donation is used wisely to help children around the world.

Lock IconWe use industry-standard communication protocols to ensure your personal information is encrypted and transmitted without risk.

Trusted Charity Since 1952

Have Questions About Compassion and How We Work?

Donating to a charity is an important decision. So when you’re passionate about a cause and want to make a difference, we encourage you to do your research. Compassion is 100% committed to financial integrity, stewardship and using each dollar wisely. If you have any questions about Compassion or exactly how your donation will be used, please don’t hesitate to contact us.


Please call us at 800-336-7676, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. MT, to speak with a Compassion representative.