It was one of those dynamic meetings where power-hungry bedlamites argued & fought about the best way to gain ultimate control over their kingdom. Just when the rhetoric reached broil on the fireball scale, the hostile discussion was sidetracked by an unexpected four-word question.
I am of course referring to the October 13, 2015 Democrat debate. And the question? “Do black lives matter?”
Some people were raised on a combination of milk and policy to the point that politics is part of their DNA. I wasn’t, and throughout the last twelve months, I’m super glad for that! But I confess, when I heard that four-word question on my laptop livestream, I had to beat down the urge to jump in my car, race to the debate location, hop up on the stage, grab the microphone and answer the question. It’s cheaper for me to answer it here though, so here goes.
The full question “Do black lives matter?—or do all lives matter?”
My answer. “Young man, thank you for your question. The real question you are asking tonight is this. “Does MY life matter?”
You see, we are created in God’s image, and fundamental to that image is the ability to give & receive love. If you can’t care about other people then you ultimately do not care about yourself, and your life is insignificant. Does your life matter enough to love your neighbor? Does your life matter enough to live in the dignity that God gave you? Does it matter enough to care about other people regardless of their ethnicity? What are you doing with your desire to give & receive love?
You framed your illogical question as an either/or. Inherent in your question is the intent to devalue the lives of others and in the process you devalue your own life. If all lives don't matter, yours doesn't either.
Deep in the heart of mankind, alongside of the desire to give & receive love is one more desire. It is the desire to feel forgiven. In your heart, down beyond the hidden pride of your question, beyond the DNA of generational bitterness, and beyond the lies of the enemy is a desire for forgiveness. Your life matters enough to forgive, my friend. Your life matters because God has forgiven you through His Son (2 Corinthians 5:19).
Does your life matter enough to rise above the suspicions and hatred of a bitter life? Does it matter enough to forgive people who have hurt you? Does it matter enough to ask forgiveness from those whom you have wounded? Each of us will suffer many wrongs in this life and we cannot control what others do or say to us. What we can do is have a proper attitude towards those who have hurt us. That proper attitude releases us from the self-destruction of revenge and the hidden pride of preferential treatment.
God makes it very plain in the Bible that He made a way for everyone to be saved–if they choose to accept it. In that existential scriptural reality (and that’s the only reality that matters) it is clear that all lives matter to God (John 3:16; 2 Peter 3:9; 1 John 2:2). All of us. Does your life matter? Yes. Does your neighbor’s life matter? Yes.
So my question remains. Does your life matter to you? Does it matter enough to give love and receive love, does it matter enough to walk in the dignity God has given you? Does your life matter enough to accept the forgiveness of God and extend that forgiveness to others? Does it matter enough to rise above the circumstances in your life, whatever they might be? Does it matter enough to look up towards heaven and say “I need You?”
If you can answer yes to these questions then your life matters! That’s exciting! If not, then your life will ultimately be summed up in one word on That Day. Insignificant.
Go out and matter.