The value of human life
We don’t truly love people. In fact, we don’t value human life as much as we say we do. We are all talk.
Last Sunday, I was sitting in church listening to a sermon on the Fruit of the Spirit. Before the pastor even started speaking, I knew this was going to be a convicting sermon. I was right. He had my attention from the beginning with this sentence: “The Fruit of the Spirit is what causes us to love each other.”
My mind started spinning.
Immediately I thought of those people whom I have a difficult time loving and appreciating. But as soon as I thought about those people, my self-justification kicked in too. Surely I wasn’t as unloving as the pastor was suggesting. I showed Christ’s love to those difficult people…most of the time.
Then I looked at the Fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23. I saw these words: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Well, things just got a little ugly. I failed the test. I hate failing.
If showing people the Fruit of the Spirit is how we love, I was a long, long, long way off from where I needed to be.
So, I started thinking. Thinking about how I treat people. Thinking about how to improve my attitude. Thinking about how to love more with my actions. Thinking about where I went wrong in loving people who aren’t lovely.
I only ended up being more convicted and discouraged. I realized it wasn’t simply something I could fix overnight. It was going to be a lifestyle choice. A lifestyle choice I didn’t see very many people around me living out.
This brings me back to my opening sentences: We don’t truly love people. In fact, we don’t value human life as much as we say we do. We are all talk.
When I hear the phrase “value human life” I automatically think of the pro-life movement. It causes me to ponder those sweet, little babies who are killed unless we stand up for them. When it comes to aborting life, I get a righteous anger. I want to make a difference and stand for what’s right.
Hmmmmm. Protecting little humans sounds really loving. It looks like I just defeated my whole argument…
We definitely need to show love to children in the womb and do our part to protect them. However, we’re missing something that’s just as important. It’s ironic how we pray for opportunities to minister to people and then when they come, we turn them away. It’s like we expect to reach out to perfect people. When they’re not perfect, we come up with excuses not to love them. I can’t count how many times I’ve heard those around me say, “There is no one around for me to minister to. Everyone seems to have it all together.”
Can I suggest that you look around? The truth is you just don’t want to minister to those God has placed around you.
We are called to reach out to both unbelievers and Christians. Every person falls into one of those categories, so it looks like there are plenty of people you can minister to in love. And I’d bet that they desire to be encouraged and have a friend.
I don’t deny that some people are hard to love. Some people talk too much, some people talk too little, some people have a severe case of me-itis, and some people just plain drive me nuts. However, no matter how I feel about them, God has brought them into my life for me to love. And when I say love, I mean it as an action. We shouldn’t just sit around and talk about loving people. We should get outside of our comfort zones and actually go be a friend.
“Remain in Me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me” (John 15:4). We don’t bear fruit by ourselves. We have to remain in Jesus. I want to love people by loving Jesus and bearing His fruit. How about you?
- Cheryl Kaye