Do we want to ask the hard questions of what is really right and what truly is just? Most of us would be willing to review facts, collect information, attaching a couple bible verses. But are we eager to dig deep to a place that dared our mentality? A mentality that has been formed by our culture, experiences and personal perspective that many times is the only "correct" way to think or be. Can we remove ourselves from a way of thinking to a place in which our very well formed and rehearsed opinions are challenged? It is a place where we suffer through being uncomfortable and we are forced to bend and change.
Well, I am uncomfortable, bent and changing.
Jesus in Matthew 25:31-46 referred to those hungry, thirsty, unclothed, sick, inprisoned or strangers, as "the least of these." He stated that what we do (or fail to do) for them we actually do to Jesus himself. Go a step further, remembering that children are already the smallest and weakest of society. A Child At Risk, in the same condition as "the least of these," surely makes them the most vulnerable. I pondered how we spend our time and resources when I learned of a church using only 15% of the budget for children's ministries, yet 60-80% of Christian conversations are streaming from children. So, is this right? Consider that Jesus was maybe referring to the children in this passage. If so, are we seeing them as they are Jesus? And among our good efforts, programs and budgets, are children our highest priority, valuing them as God values them?
The question posed this week that struck me deeply was-
"Is it possible that Satan understands the value of a child more than the people of God?" (Selah)
The church is charged by God with the responsibility to care and protect children who are the greatest targets for spiritual attacks because they have not yet learned how to defend themselves. Yet there are 2.2 billion children in the world, but 1 of 2 live in poverty. That is half of the world's children. 30,000 of the world’s children die each year from preventable disease. That is 1 in 3. And Every 26 seconds 2 children are sold into sex trafficking. So who does Satan want to destroy? In matters of abortion, who does Satan not want to be born? Just possibly one who was intended to be used greatly by God.
The way we value life itself is much less to how God does. Even in cases where there are multiple children born within a poverty stricken family. On many occasions I have heard the opinion that "those people" should stop having children they "can't afford." Yet, God says that He will increase the families of the poor and make them like a flock (Psalm 107: 41 NIV). God does this because He values life on a much higher level in circumstances where some concluded life should not be.
We must consider value on God's scale, which cannot be outweighed. We must wrestle through being uncomfortable and have our mentalities and opinions bent and changed. We must be one that puts the highest priority on the "least of these."
Suggested further reading "Too Small Too Ignore," by Wess Stafford
This blog was written as my weekly conclusion for my "Children At Risk" school, week 1, taught by Janna Moats. The topic was "Why we are here?"