Our little Allie is learning a ton these days. One of her favorite new activities is throwing trash away into the trash can. She wobbles her cute spunky self over to the can with trash in hand, and tosses it in. She claps with pride as though she's accomplished a great feat.
The only trouble is that lately I've been finding things in the trash can that don't belong there. I've found a few toys, her clothes, and most recently my Anne of Green Gable's dvds (my favorite movie of all time).
I chuckled and smiled finding the toys and clothes, but when I saw my TREASURED dvd's in the trash I panicked. I thought, what other treasures of mine has she thrown away without me noticing?
It's slightly comical, but mostly disheartening to think of Allie trashing my treasure.
Yet, it got me thinking about if I've ever trashed someone else's treasure. I can remember accidentally throwing away a student's treasured art work once. I've accidentally thrown money away.
I purposely threw away a beat up toy that the boys treasured but used for "evil" to taunt each other. However most of these examples aren't too big of a deal.
So then I got to thinking, what have I thrown away that God treasures? To answer this question, I first had to think about what God treasures.
God treasures His creation.
And His most treasured creation is mankind.
The Bible teaches that we are God's people, His treasured posession [Deuteronomy 7:6]; a people belonging to Him [1 Peter 2:9].
Because we are of great value to Him, He longs to be in relationship with us, to bring us into His family, and to share with us all that he has.
"His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. And this gave him great pleasure." Ephesians 1:5 NLT
THE strongest evidence to support the truth that we are His treasured possession is the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
Jesus "gave himself for us to redeem us..and to purify for himself a people that are his very own..." Titus 2:14
"God, for whom and through whom everything was made, chose to bring many children into glory. And it was only right that he should make Jesus, through his suffering, a perfect leader, fit to bring them into their salvation. " Hebrews 2:10 (NLT)
So if God treasures people, then we should never "trash" them.
When I was 10 years old, my mom miscarried a baby around the 4th month of pregnancy. I remember vividly going to the cemetery and burying this baby whom we named Christian Michael. It was a tearful goodbye to the sibling I would never know personally here on this earth.
Imagine if my parents had just trashed this unborn baby, God's most treasured possession.
It's completely disheartening to even think of his underdeveloped, yet very human body tossed and laying in a trash can as though he had no value.
God treasures even the wee little ones in the womb.
And we are called to treasure what God treasures.
So shouldn't WE also treasure all people, no matter their age.
Most of us aren't literally throwing people into a trash can, but how often do we treat people as though they were trash?
Do we trash their feelings and emotions, writing them off as crazy, high-maintenance, or overly emotional?
Do we trash their needs assuming their stupid choices are to blame?
Do we trash their talents and gifts through discouraging or unkind words that belittle their skill level or signficance?
Do we trash our children's ideas by refusing to listen or shaming them for childlike thinking?
Do we trash our children's growing hearts by belittling them and constantly reminding them of their failures?
Do we trash the uneducated deeming their ideas and opinions as worthless or stupid?
No matter a person's age, race, gender, sexual orientation, educational level, career, physical appearance, faith, or sinful lifestyle God treasures them...and so should we. Whether or not they've believed or accepted Him, He still loves and treasures them...and so should we.
No person should ever be treated as though they were trash to be tossed.
This is a truth our children must be taught.
They must firmly believe that human life is sacred to and treasured by our Creator God.
And each and every person they encounter should be treated as such.
Join me and let's pray that our children don't trash God's most treasured possession.
You treasure all people. In your eyes, every man, woman, and child have value. Today I pray that my children would see people through your eyes. I pray they would never minconstrue need, emotions, or sin in people as an excuse to trash or devalue them. Rather, I pray they would treasure mankind by treating them with respect and loving them with Your abounding and grace-filled love.