Word # 6: Life!
God values human life highly, and He wants us to value and choose life as well. od is the giver of life. He breathed into the first man the breath of life (Genesis 2:7), and His plan is to give every human being a chance at real life—eternal life as His sons and daughters in His Kingdom. God values life highly. He tells us to choose life: “I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19).
Because God is the God of life, and because we are His children and desire to walk in the same way in which He walks (1 John 2:6), we want to work for the preservation, protection, and promotion of life. This command, then, is profoundly rooted in the nature of God, as God of love.
Preserving life means to make choices directed at building our physical capital. This is the time and energy we have available to invest in tasks, projects, and relationships. Jesus shows us how to do this when he teaches his disciples how to rest and abide so they can bear fruit. (Matthew 11:28-30) Good health is something we take for granted—until we start to lose it. John wrote to his friend, (3 John 2) hinting that his dear friend was not well and that John was praying for restored health: “I want you to be as healthy in body as you are in soul!” The psalmist (25:21) says that living a life of integrity and righteousness will preserve my life.
Protecting life means to make choices which will provide for the family’s needs. “But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” (1 Timothy 5:8) Building up a buffer for emergencies, and necessary insurances will protect the family in changing circumstances.
We are also called to give generously to protect the lives of those who are vulnerable and defend the poor. For the poor will never cease to be in the land; therefore I command you, saying, ‘You shall freely open you hand to your brother, to your needy and poor in your land’ (Deuteronomy 15:11).
Promoting life means to make choices which enables our fellow human beings to thrive and grow. Investing in people through education and training, and offering opportunities to use their gifts and talents promotes human flourishing. Choosing life and loving people means spending our money to help them grow.
Jesus sharpens the point! In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus takes the idea of murder a step further, In Matthew 5:21-26, Jesus expanded on the definition of the commandment "You shall not murder" from the Old Testament. “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.” (Matthew 5:21–26).
Jesus is saying that, from God's perspective, anger, verbal abuse against someone or purposefully not paying what we owe, is subject to the same judgment in God's sight as taking that person's life.
The application is to seek reconciliation, even if it costs us. Life and the integrity of human relationships is much more important than money.
Making the right choices?
This Word #6 shows that we are to value human life in accordance to Gods valuation of life. Financial choices should preserve, protect and promote human flourishing and healthy relationships.
... to be continued ...