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Saturday, January 19 , 2019, 9:57 pm | Fair 55º


Jim Langley: Honoring All Human Life

I was recently challenged to take a new look at the Ten Commandments. As you may know, eight of the 10 are presented as negative statements.

In Exodus 20, we can find all 10 listed, but I’d like to concentrate on four little words in the sixth commandment found in verse 13: “You shall not murder.” Please note that God does not command us to not kill. We may need to kill in self-defense, but murdering another human is totally unacceptable.

Now, let’s take this commandment and turn it into a positive statement. In essence, what God really wants us to do is honor all human life. By doing so, we are obeying His command. Human life is precious and our Father in Heaven does not want us to consider the life of any human being as worthless or of minimal value. We are His greatest creation and each of us has a purpose in His master plan.

The first account of murder takes place outside the Garden of Eden when Cain killed his brother, Abel. According to Genesis 4, Cain became very angry because God had accepted Abel’s sacrificial offering from the firstborn of his flock, yet God did not accept Cain’s grain offering.

In verse 7 God lovingly instructed Cain, “If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.”

Cain did not heed God’s instructions and he proceeded to take his brother’s life. Our Lord wants us to realize and appreciate the sanctity of life.

It’s time I share a personal story with you. In my mid-30s, my Mom somewhat flippantly told me that she had three abortions while my Dad was in the military. If she had not had those abortions, I would have been the third of five children and I suspect my early years would have been quite different.

As it turned out, only my brother, who’s 10 years younger, and I ever saw the face of the earth. I got over the ill thoughts years ago and only feel sorry that my Mom had to deal with the emotional pain all those years.

Before her death I found out that my Dad made her go through those procedures. Now, I know she and my Dad are reunited with our siblings in Heaven and one day I will meet them as well! Apparently military hospitals were performing abortions many years before Roe v. Wade.

Before accepting Christ as my Savior and Lord 30-plus years ago, I really had no strong feelings about the sanctity of life. My main concern was simply for me and the well-being of those around me.

Twenty-seven years ago, my wife, Janet, and I had the wonderful pleasure of adopting a little girl at birth in Sacramento. Faith has brought much joy into our lives and we are so thankful that our daughter’s birth mother had the courage to go through the full pregnancy and deliver our beautiful girl into our care.

Raising her has not always been a bed of roses, but we are so grateful that God entrusted her life into our hands and we look forward to whatever lies ahead. We know God was calling us to adopt back then and He was certainly faithful in the process, which all took place in less than a normal gestation period. In fact, we believe Faith was conceived the same evening we were initially confronted with the first of two possible adoptions that fell through the previous summer.

We would be wise to honor all human life as God has instructed in the Sixth Commandment. Remember, in Matthew 22:37-40 it says, “Jesus replied, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.’ And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Over the years I’ve been fortunate to meet many challenged with developmental disabilities and other handicaps who have lived productive lives, and I know that in every case there's a story of a courageous mother enduring many trials to simply honor human life. May we all take a new fresh look at human life this day forward.

Passages to Ponder

» Exodus 20:1-17

» 2 Samuel 12:19-23

» Psalm 133

» 1 Timothy 2:13-15

— Jim Langley has been writing for more than 30 years while working as a life and health insurance agent in Santa Barbara. In recent years, his passion has turned to writing about his personal relationship with God, and his goal is to encourage others to draw near to Him as well. As a longtime member of CBMC of Santa Barbara (Christian Business Men’s Connection), he started writing Fourth Quarter Strategies columns in 2014, and he now reaches an international audience through the CBMC International devotional Monday Manna. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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