You may have heard the news report, out of Cocoa FL, from July 12.
A group of teens watched and laughed as a man drowned in a retention pond. The teens recorded the 31-year-old’s drowning on video – and can be heard laughing at him, telling him he’s going to die, and that they weren’t going to help him.
You can imagine most people’s reaction to this story… and to the video. “How can anyone be that callous and cruel… as a man’s life is tragically ebbing away?”
The answer is easy… but beyond disturbing. Whenever we stop valuing other people’s lives – we end up as an “entertained” spectator at the very moment when we should be the most involved in their lives.
But this is nothing new. Human beings have a terrible history of treating human lives cheaply – and, often, of no value whatsoever. Back in Roman times, people (mostly Christians) were crucified and used as torches to light roadways at night. Entire families were released in huge arenas only to be chased, caught and eaten by wild animals – all for the “entertainment” of cheering crowds.
We could cite example after example… the treatment of Native Americans. Slavery. The Holocaust. Sex-trafficking. Ethnic “cleansing.” And on and on…
Even “Christians” are not exempt. Many have participated in abuse and torture throughout the course of history.
The point is… that whenever any of us devalue another human being – we begin to treat them as just so much trash. And what is worse, we end up justifying our actions – because that’s how all trash is treated.
At the heart of the abortion issue is simply how people are valued. If it’s just a fetus (NOT really a person) we treat undesirable and unwanted things as trash. If you don’t value, or even want that fetus… get rid of it. Treat it just the same as a cancerous tumor. To the tune of nearly 60 million abortions, in the U.S., since Roe v. Wade in 1973 (and since 1980, worldwide… 1.4 billion!) How is it, we are outraged at the abuse of children, yet unmoved by the abortion of fetuses? Easy… one group is treasured; the other is… trash.
All other answers are smoke and mirrors.
Why are we surprised, even shocked, when a group of teens video a drowning man for their entertainment. We need to be reminded that this is where human nature can take any of us whenever we see other human beings as trash.
But there is hope for us. At the very heart of the gospel is a message: ALL human beings are treasured by God. And if He treasures us – we should certainly treasure each other. Even if we disagree. Even if we are treated as trash by other people.
The new nature calls us to love as God loves us… unconditionally, without limits – with regard for the good (and welfare) of the other persons we meet every day.
This is not optional for us. IF we are to be God’s people, we have to value people just as God does. People are never trash to the King of the Universe!
God proved that He values all humanity by sending His Own Son to meet us at our point of greatest need – and providing His greatest cure.
That is a true Christian’s ongoing message and mission!
Prayer focus: God, each day I commit my heart to loving people as You love them… and seeing every person through the eyes of Your love.