Do you have a New Year’s resolution? Most New Year’s resolutions revolve around health or habits. But how do we arrive at those goals? What is it about our life now that causes us to want to change it…for the better? How do we define ‘better?’
Somehow, we all have an idea of what a good life looks like and the intuitive understanding that we are in some way missing the mark. Paul says in Romans 3:23, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Hence, if one has their heart set on New Year’s resolutions, it would be smart to clarify what sin is and what a ‘good’ human life looks like so we can understand exactly how we are falling short.
Since God is the standard of ‘Good’ and humans are made in His image, then the only ‘good’ human life is one that reflects the pure character of God. Fallen man is that way precisely because he wants to fashion himself into his own image rather than do what he was designed to do in reflecting God’s image. So, what’s our New Year’s resolution to be now…how do we narrow it down and what is the likelihood of success?
Jesus Christ came because He loved fallen humanity and wanted to redeem us from our hopeless sin-induced death. This teaches us at least a couple things: 1) That God places ultimate, intrinsic value on all men regardless of our behavior, age, status, sex, race, etc. and 2) That God’s moral law is stronger than any physical law and does not change in light of man’s weakness. Knowing that we could never attain to the good standard of God, Jesus came to fulfill His Father’s law on our behalf, not change it to suit our sin. Jesus says in Matthew 5:17-18, “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.” God’s redemption plan has been accomplished, not by changing the standard, but by fulfilling it. The pathway for man to be redeemed has been opened up to us through the cross of Christ, and it is now our task to confess the reality of our enslavement to sin and submit to the Truth, the Lordship of the King of kings. Only then are we infused with a new Spirit, His Spirit which graces us with the power to live truly good lives, reflecting His glory, a glory that loves all others in the same self-sacrificial manner as He loved us.
Thanks to the Supreme Court’s abortion decision, Roe vs Wade in January of 1973, this month now also represents a time for people to not just review their personal life goals, but the purpose of life itself. Society has confused our God-given governance over the Earth for God’s role as Master over life itself. In a culture that insists man’s existence is merely physical, in a society where avoiding pain and pursuing pleasure is the highest purpose to which individuals can aspire, where society’s only shared core value is the insane belief that each person’s differing notions of right and wrong are equal, and in a world that says all humans are the same…except the ones we decide are not human, Christians must stand and say, “There is a higher purpose to man and it’s rooted in God.” Only in that position can a society resist the temptation to play God. Believing that we are ‘made a little lower than God’ is the only way to dignify every human. Only in this way can we hold that all humans have inherent worth and are of ultimate value, just because they are human. Therefore all humans deserve to have their lives protected, especially the most vulnerable.
All life is invaluable. All life deserves protection. To hold a narrower view and exclude preborn babies from personhood status by hiding behind women’s rights is the signature cowardice of bullies, despots, and murderers. Protecting the lives of preborn boys and girls begins with treating their mothers with the dignity they deserve as humans. Providing her and her child with the resources they need to flourish is the only humane path. Anything less, despite being done in the name of compassion, is cruelty.
P.S. Resolve to remember CompassCare in your prayers and consistent financial support in 2015.