Friday, December 11, 2009

Pro-Life.

I've always considered myself to be pro-life.  I mean, I'm pretty sure I am.  If you followed me through my week, you'd probably agree.  I spend several days a week counseling young women in crisis pregnancy situations.  I believe in the sanctity of life -- that anything created in the image of God is worth defending.  And, as much as is possible, I speak up for those who can't speak up for themselves.  Pro-life, right?

But a few days ago, I realized I wasn't very pro-life at all.

What on earth am I talking about?  Well first, what exactly does it mean to be pro-life anyway?  In my limited estimation, "pro-life" meant, "Any stand taken against abortion (and abortion only)".  The term used to evoke images of special interest groups, campaigns, protests against abortion, and crisis counseling for young, unwed mothers.  Ultimately, I thought it meant making a commitment to help others choose the gift of life.

But I've come to realize that being "pro-life" is more than merely acting as an advocate for the unborn.  It's a worldview.  It's a lifestyle.  Jesus told us that He came to give life -- more abundantly.  He demonstrated that very fact when He gave Himself up for us on the cross and took the death penalty for our sins upon Himself -- so that we could live forever.  Has there ever been a greater pro-life act in the history of the world?

Because of God's ultimate sacrifice, we are also called to be pro-life in every area of life, not just in the most obvious sense of defending the rights of the unborn. 

How does that work?  It means building people up by speaking life-giving words instead of tearing them down with discouragement, anger, and manipulation -- all life-taking actions.

Gail Dillinger of LIFE International says, "How can we deliver a life-giving message to a [young woman in need] and at the same time express a life-taking message towards [others]?"  She continues, "Whether we realize it or not, when we wake every morning, we decide which side to be on in the cosmic battle between life-givers and life-takers.  We reveal our choice through our language and actions, beginning with the first person we speak to and proceeding through the rest of the day.  When we interact with our family members, friends, co-workers, and enemies, do our words and actions increase life or diminish life?"

When I leave the center, my work is over.  I've made my contribution to the pro-life movement.  But my family? I live with them every day -- and they get all the leftover yuckiness: criticism, complaints, and my largely divided attention.  Life-taking.  I'm tearing them down.  De-valuing them.  And something's wrong with that picture.

James 3:9-10 says, "With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness.  Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing.  My brothers, this should not be."

Sin is death.  Are your words and actions life-giving or life-taking?

Maybe we're not as pro-life as we think.

6 comments:

Kami said...

Wow, what a great way to look at things!

Anønymøus said...

Wow - those are really sound words. Thank you.

"But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead.

"For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive...then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power....

"The last enemy that will be destroyed is death."


Isn't it a blessing to know that a day is coming when the death that still exists in our flesh will be taken away just as surely as death itself will be no more? Let's live in a way that shows the life we have been given and the eternal life we have been promised.

"And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, let us also bear the image of the heavenly Man."

Nick said...

How come you have this ability to say stuff the rest of us can barely formulate into complete thoughts - and be dead on every time, huh?

Anonymous said...

...please where can I buy a unicorn?

Unicorns? Hu? said...

You can't.

Nick said...

My kiddos and I read about unicorns in the bible last night and they wanted to know why we don't have any these days. ;)