What is a person worth? I often think about all the horrible stories I read from American History. How in the world could people be so cruel to slaves. Sure the Bible talks about slaves, but slave owners were commanded to take care of and look after them. Slave owners were even to offer the slaves freedom every 7 years. I'm not saying I agree with even that form of slavery. My point is that I disagree with mistreating anyone for any reason. Jesus took it further. He said in Matthew 5:22, "But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council, and whoever says, 'You fool!' will be liable to the hell of fire." Jesus didn't just say don't do it, He actually said don't even think it. That's hard. As I write this I have no idea what you believe. I believe Genesis 1:27 that we were all created by God in His image. Even if you don't believe that, you have to look around and understand that we as humans are special in creation. As you read this, I hope you understand that you are special. You have a purpose and there is someone that loves you just the way you are.
This week we as a team lost a good team mate and a great friend. Adam was only 20 years old when his life was taken. Another young man was also shot with him who was also 20 years old. As I sat and talked with Adam's dad he said two times, "These kids just don't understand the value of life. I also believe in an eternal heaven and hell. Not because I can see it and not because someone told me too. I believe it because Jesus talked about it. I can read about the facts proving the existence of Jesus, the life, burial and the resurrection which all lead my to believe that all of His words are true. However believing in eternity forces me to look at life as even more precious. We have only one shot here on earth. One shot with family and friends. One shot to make an impact helping those around us. For a life to be taken at 20 years old is tragic. This loss is a blow that will last for many years.
This is the part that bothers me so much. Everyday I hear or read about death, drug addictions, rapes, and so much more. Do you realize that we as a human race have the ability to stop the insanity? We don't need more laws. They really don't work. My dad always said, "A locked gate only keeps an honest man out." A criminal will find a way. Let me give you some what ifs. Right now the US has just over 327 million people living here. In 2017 a survey from Drug Wars stated that 30.5 million people age 12 or older used an illicit drug in the past 30 days. That's almost 10% of the population. Nearly 40,000 people died from gun shots in 2018. That's a small number statistically, but it's still too many. Every single life is valuable. I believe we can stop it. So the big question is how? First, find a child that doesn't have adult supervision and guide them. Show them love and help them understand right from wrong. Lead them to understand that they are valuable and that they have a purpose. Educate them to the best of your ability. Second, put yourself in the back of the line. I have tried with my best efforts to teach my children by example to put yourself out. In the isle at the store move and make room. Let someone out in traffic. Pay for someones meal. Be sure the young people see you putting others first.. Last, love every moment. Adam's dad made a post after the shooting telling everyone to be sure to hug their kids a little longer. Post the pictures for the world to see. Hold on to them and let them know how you feel every chance you get. Don't waste a single second. That's great advice.
Today let me challenge you to lead someone, to love someone, and to enjoy every moment.