Years ago I heard a politician portray himself as a religious man. He admitted he was not part of any church, and he said nothing about a personal relationship with Jesus, but he said he tried to live by the words of Micah 6:8, “To do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly.” His comments prompted me to take another look at this intriguing verse.

In the preceding verses, the prophet condemned empty formalism (vv.6-7). He said the people’s religious activities were to be accompanied by a lifestyle marked by integrity, kindness, and humility before the Lord.

Micah 6:8 still applies to God’s people today, even though Christ’s death on the cross ended the need for animal sacrifices. We may have put our trust in Jesus as our Savior, and we may attend church faithfully, give sacrificially, read our Bibles, and pray. But we must be careful that our good activities do not degenerate into empty formalism. Our faith must make a difference in how we live and how we treat others. We are to be people who walk humbly with God, who love to show mercy, and who uphold justice for His sake.

Some people try to be good without knowing God. But it’s also wrong to say we know God if we don’t care about doing good.