Today I was just humming along to the radio as I started a very busy day. The days events ran thru my brain like a loco-motive (emphasis on loco). Yet like a scratch on a chalk board my attention was drawn by two DJ’s having a conversation about a guy on death row suing the State of Idaho Corrections Department. The jest of the suit is that recently the Department of Corrections has stopped serving 3 meals on weekends. The incarcerated get 2. The complainant has raised concerns over health and how he is losing weight. But that was not my concern, nor do I have an opinion one way or another over 2 meals or 3 meals. I know families that would love to enjoy the security of knowing they have a single balanced meal a day. What got my goat was how they referred to this man on death row. They had such contempt for him. In their discussion they devalued him in such a way that they were actually proud of his dismay.
I have been deeply involved in prison/jail ministry so maybe that is why I see this as a non-issue. But when should a persons value EVER be an issue? Whether it be the prisoner that committed the most heinous crimes, or its the homeless man who fights daily with his demons of addiction, or even more close to home, the neighbor who neglects her kids. We ought to see others with the vision that the Lord has for them, with the same heart. I am NOT saying that there should not be consequences for crimes committed. I am not saying that we need to be ignorant as to the character and the inability for these people to be contributing citizens to any community outside the confines of prison. What I am saying is that we must still value them…we must still value their place here on earth, we must value the fact that they were created. Most of all we must value that Christ died for them the same as He died for us. Above that we must recognize that he would still die for them despite their crimes, no matter how horrific.
8 For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift— 9 not from works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them. (Eph 2:8-10 HCSB)
“FOR WE ARE HIS CREATION…” Straight up, you insult anyone’s value, you insult the creator, God Himself.
16 From now on, then, we do not knowanyone in a purely human way. Even if we have known Christ in a purely human way, yet now we no longer know Him in this way. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come. 18 Everything is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation. (2Cor 5:17-18 HCSB)
WE TRULY KNOW NOTHING. Only God is the judge, because only He knows a man’s heart. We must acknowledge and value ANYONE’S coming to Christ — Irregardless of their past.
Ultimately, we must NEVER question a person’s value to God.
14 For Christ’s love compels us, since we have reached this conclusion: If One died for all, then all died. 15 And He died for all so that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for the One who died for them and was raised.16 From now on, then, we do not know anyone in a purely human way. Even if we have known Christ in a purely human way, yet now we no longer knowHim in this way.(2 Cor 5:14-16 HCSB)
No one is a throw away. No one ought be considered as disposable. We must never take joy in ANYONE’S suffering or ultimately their death.