Lessons Learned

Have you ever wondered how different the world would be if all of us believed each person to be as special and precious as the next? I realize that behaviors vary, but that is not what I’m considering. Rather, I’m giving thought to the vast ramifications that might manifest if we simply recognized the equal value of every human being. How would that change not only what we think of others, but also what we think of ourselves. I sometimes see and hear actions and words that declare the great differences in value that individuals place upon self and others and I ache over the harm that results.

I’ve also lived long enough to see the devaluing that occurs when disagreements or other forms of divisions occur. Instead of simply recognizing differences, oftentimes far worse than that occurs, leaving in the wake deep wounds and broken relationships. How sad…

When respect remains intact and value of human lives is not diminished, then disagreement does not have to rob anyone of dignity and certainly doesn’t cost loss of life as we so often see now in the news where discord or division results in death.

As I read scripture, I find God ordaining life as a precious gift from Himself and He reserved authority over life and death in clear terms. He also made us in His image and gave to us all the breath of life. There is clearly no greater value given to one over the other. Yet, so often we find individuals striving to distinguish themselves as better and above while degrading the value of those with whom they compare themselves. How tragic, truly tragic when we were created to live loving lives, to honor and glorify our creator, to care for and cherish each one we are blessed to know.

After so many years of struggle, faults, and failures, I recognize within myself elements of all things I most dislike. Yet, I see too, the grace so abundantly supplied by a perfect Savior, grace that covers all my sin. I need no further evidence of my great need for this precious Savior or the need of each one who walks so similarly to me. I guess forgiveness comes most easily to those who’ve braved that dreadful encounter with the mirror that reflects back to our own eyes the truth of personal errors. Sometimes I even consider, though greatly regretting my sins, that had I not failed so obviously I might never have so clearly seen my need nor shed my self-righteous attitudes that would have done only harm and no good. The Lord knows best, of that I am sure, and He works all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. I truly believe His purpose for each one includes a forgiving spirit and a heart of genuine love.

Questions I often ponder…Do I harbor any ill will toward another or do I truly desire the same good for all that I desire for myself and my own? This is a locator for me. If I long for more for self than for other I find myself in deep need of adjustment. Everyone truly matters equally. May we live with contentment, fulfilling our purpose to be a source of good and not evil, of love and not hate, of gentleness and not harm.

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