“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD. “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you; plans to give you a hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).
True or False?
Does God have a plan for every life, or does He just leave us alone in a harsh world to do the best we can?
There is a huge lie that is becoming part of the fabric of our society, creeping insidiously into our minds, our hearts, our homes, and sadly, into our churches. The lie says that unless a person can live a “quality life” then life is not even worth living. This lie manifests itself in our movies, in TV dramas, in talk-show interviews and even in commercials. Now this lie is visiting the local church where people who call themselves Christians are using it to justify euthanasia and abortion. If you need a more authoritative opinion, even Pope Francis called “Quality of Life” a lie in a December 2014 article published in the Vatican Insider.
Encountering the lie
I frequently encounter this lie when I am representing Hope Women’s Centers in our community. I sat with a local pastor who told me, “Sometimes abortion is just the best decision”. I felt like crying. I looked at the Bible on the bookcase behind him and wondered why his Book didn’t say the same thing mine did.
I encountered the lie when I met with a women’s ministry leader who told me I would be “pro-choice” if I could gain a better understanding of her particular ethnic community. “It’s complicated,” she told me and went on to give me an example of a 21 year old she was working with who was pregnant for the fifth time and asked what I thought this young woman should do to achieve a better quality of life. I felt angry. I said, “Do really think that ending the life of one of her children will give her a better life? If so, how do you choose which one must die?” She said I was being flippant. I was serious.
I have even encountered the lie from a well-meaning family member who told me to stop asking him to make donations to Hope. He said he would never donate to “help bring more babies into the welfare system.” He quoted Scripture and justified his position by perverting the Word of God. I felt like throwing up.
Value defined by God
We must go back to God’s word to recover a pure concept of the Sanctity of Human Life. Does a life have value because of what it can produce? Is a life full of “quality” because that life is well-fed, well-housed and well-clothed? Does the life of a 21st century American living in the suburbs have more value than the life of a street orphan, living in a cardboard box in Mexico City? Who decides? The quality of life argument is a slippery slope that will lead us to certain destruction. I am thankful that God is in charge — quality of life is not my problem. It is His, and He is more than capable of handling it. I must trust in Him to right the wrongs of the world in His own way and in His own time.
Genesis 1:27 tells us the reason that life is sacred: “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”
In Psalm 139:13-16 the Psalmist says,
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”
In a perfect world, everyone who proclaims to be a Christian would understand and embrace these simple truths about life:
– Life – EVERY LIFE – is precious because it is created by God in His own image.
– Life – EVERY LIFE – is ordained by God and our days are numbered before birth.
– Life – EVERY LIFE – is to be cherished and protected by those who believe God.
Triumph of the human soul
Throughout history, we have witnessed the triumph of the human soul. We esteem those who have risen from the ashes of the lives they were dealt to overcome hardships and make their mark on the world. To see how lives are being changed right here in Broward County, watch Stories of Hope at youtube.com/watch?v=y30P7nZ0vk8. Where there is life, there is hope, and I believe that hope changes everything.
We love the stories of overcomers, but sometimes we lack the imagination and faith to see the potential in the weakest among us. We are so conditioned to seeing what is instead of what could be. If we will remember that the God who created us has a huge investment in us, and a plan for every life, it will help us remember that every life has value, from natural birth to natural death.
God has a plan for righting the wrongs in the world, for taking care of widows and orphans, and for making sure people understand how to tap into the abundant life that is available to them in Christ. It is called the Church. Pray for our churches to remain true to the high calling of Christ and not get lost in the rhetoric of our culture.
Nancy McDonald is president/CEO of Hope Women’s Centers, which exists to encourage and equip women to make informed choices regarding unplanned pregnancies. Visit www.thereishope.org