I know it’s been a couple weeks since this occurred, but I’ve been thinking a lot about the tragedy in Uvalde, Texas. Part of me doesn’t want to think about it because it breaks my heart, but I can’t ignore it as though it didn’t happen, because I think that’s why our nation is where it is today. Often, I hear people from other countries ask why things like this are so common in the U.S. but not other places, and I have to stop and think, and ask why? First, I know that terrible things such as this DO happen in other parts of the world, in the middle east, parts of Africa, China, and south America, for example, murder, genocide, and religious persecution run rampant. Even slavery continues globally! It just doesn’t always make the news.
The reason for all this wickedness is obviously sin, but a related issue I find particularly disturbing in the U.S. is the lack of value we have for human life. From the first heartbeat to old age, those with sickness or disability, as well as the perfectly healthy, we are made in the image of God and are precious to Him. We’ve talked about the Imago Dei in previous posts, and about how we are to show care and respect towards all for this very reason. But I feel we’ve lost sight of this fact.
There’s been a serious attempt to de-humanize people, across the globe, but especially in the United States. I’ve seen it in social media posts about people being undeserving of life because they’re poor, sick, elderly, or even because they think differently from you! It’s disheartening; and I believe this undervalue of life, only adds fuel to the mental health crisis and increased suicide rates in our country.
We may not be able to control what unbelievers think, or do, or say, but as believers we must stand firmly upon the Word of God, and God says, in no particular order…
- We are created in His image. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27, ESV).
- We are created with intention and purpose. “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them” (Psalm 139:13-16).
- Children are a blessing. “Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward” (Psalm 127:3).
- God cares, and therefore, we should care, for the poor, the sick, the oppressed, and even imprisoned. Read Matthew 25:31-46! I won’t write it all out here, because it is pretty long, but we will be judged for how we treat “the least.”
- God cares, and we are to care, for the widow, the fatherless, and the foreigner. ‘The LORD watches over the sojourners; he upholds the widow and the fatherless, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin” (Psalm 146:9).
- We are to respect those who’ve come before us. “If you honor your father and mother, ‘things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth'” (Ephesians 6:3).
- Young or old, man or woman, as believers, we are valuable in the kingdom of God. “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions” (Joel 2:28). Also check out 1 Timothy 4:12.
- Christ loves and died for all people. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). And “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:6-8).
God values human life, and we are meant to be His hands and feet on the Earth. We are to be kind, show love and grace and respect, regardless of whether we receive the same in return. We are to speak out for those who cannot speak for themselves, to protect life; to support, encourage, and teach those who feel ill-equipped to parent. To take care of our elderly, foreigners, orphans, ill, and prisoners.
I fear that, too often, we affiliate Christianity–especially in the United States–with a particular political view point and miss out on what the Word actually says. In heaven there will be no American, democrat or republican…there will just be Children of God! There’s no leader, or government, or any amount of money or prepping, that can save us from sin, except the One Who shed His blood on the cross for us. And that’s what truly matters…eternity.
The words “eternal perspective” have been speaking to my heart, lately. We need to stop wasting our time and energy worrying over things that aren’t going to last! This world will fade away, this government will end, the things that will last are not of the flesh, but of the Spirit. As Paul says in Romans 8:5, “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.” So let’s be the hands and feet of God, let’s live keeping eternity at the forefront our minds, and sharing the gospel with as many as we can. Showering those around us with love, grace, and truth.