Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Week Thirty-Seven - AVA

The other day my niece put up a Facebook post that reminded me of a teaching I enjoyed and still continue to use. Her post was about racism, abortion, and euthanasia. I'm not going to directly get into those topics, but I think we can look at some Bible principles that guide our position on these issues and others facing this generation.

Her post read, "The importance of the concept of men and women as bearers of God's image speaks to the dignity and worth of each human being. No one person can be considered more like the Creator than another. In addition, every life, whether in the beginning stages or at the end of days, shares the same value before God. This fact should encourage Christians with two important truths:

1. You should seek to protect life at every stage because every stage is valuable.
2. You should never hold racist beliefs because all humans bear the image of God."

When I consider these things, I place myself in their position and walk a mile in their moccasins. If I were the unborn child or the aged person - how would I want to be treated or valued? If my skin color or nationality were in the minority - how would I want to be included or what would I hope to add to the community around me?

The Golden Rule applies here - Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Isn't it amazing how simply God puts it?

I want to share with you a teaching the Lord gave me years ago when I had to speak on women's rights. It was an odd topic for a Bible study, but I have never forgotten what I learned and when I come to these issues we are referring to today, it creates for me a way of viewing all of humanity regardless of age, gender, or ethnicity. It's easy to remember - I call it AVA.

We all have equal Access to God.

    He hears the prayers of every soul that calls to Him.
    He is open to all who will believe.
    Even for those who have not heard, the Bible says, creation reveals God.

We all have equal Value to God.

    He is no respector of persons.
    He loves and cares for each of us as His creation.
    He has a plan and purpose for every individual.

We are all equally Accountable to God.

    God's standard is the same for each of us.
    We will all eventually stand before Him.
    And, we will all be held accountable for what we did with Christ, and how we treated each other.

So, with equal access, equal value, and equal accountability, there comes a level playing field. No one person is greater than the other in God's eyes. Oh, we might have job descriptions that place us in different categories and levels of responsibility. Or, we might have educational differences, but laying those things aside, we all come from the same place and all end up standing before a holy God.

For me, this little AVA directive reminds me of two important things.

1. I am never going to meet anyone God does not love. And so, I should treat them with respect in honor to His name.

2. Accountability. I think this is the missing key in today's society. Understanding and accepting my personal accountability causes me to measure my responses. But equally - others will also be held accountable for their actions. But I am not the one to whom they must answer - God is. And since we are all equally accountable, I am best to keep myself in the love of God, treat others with care and respect, and leave the judging of their actions to Him.

Equal access, equal value, and equal accountability. So simple, yet so worth using as a guide in life.

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Week Thirty-Six - I

Do you ever spend time beating yourself up with negative words about yourself to yourself? Well, I have just one thought for you today. Read slowly and breathe it in deeply.

I is a hard taskmaster.
I whispers self-condemning words.
I devalues progress.
I demands perfection.
I tries to hide.
I is a liar.
I steals joy.
I quenches hope.
I breaks relationships.
I genders loneliness.
I is stubborn and proud.
I is never satisfied.
I must die daily, so
I can be assured.
I can be humble.
I find fellowship.
I have hope.
I rejoice.
I live honestly.
I am open.
I have peace with imperfection.
I grow and develop.
I hear words of truth.
I can rise with Him.
And so,
I can follow the Master.