When I ask you the question “Do you value human life more than the life of an animal,” what is the first thing that comes to mind? I am sure that many of you treat your pet like a member of your family. Some of you even go as far as calling your pet a child. Before you start raising your fist at me, hear me out for a second. I am a dog lover. Our dog of choice is a Great Dane. Our current dog is our third Great Dane since we have been married. We love our dog and include her in most everything that we do. Even though she is massive by most accounts, she still considers herself a lap dog.
I have had many pets since I was a child. We started out with goldfish and worked ourselves up to parakeets. After we mastered bird ownership, we decided to get a lop-eared bunny. If you do know what a lop-eared rabbit is, they are very chubby with ears that nearly hang down to the ground. Their fur is soft, and they love human interaction. Our lop-eared bunny lived many years until it died of old age. After the rabbit, my parents finally broke down and got us a Shetland Sheepdog. Shetland Sheepdogs are a miniature version of Lassie. Going from a bunny to a dog presented many new opportunities. Our dog was able to take orders and understand how to fetch, sit and lay down. Dog's indeed are mans best friend and a faithful companion.
One thing that has always concerned me is when people value the life of their pet over the life of a human. Many pet owners would feed a stray dog or cat. Some of them would even welcome the animal into their home and feed it and make it part of their family. This same person would walk by a beggar on the street and pretend like they did not exist. Instead of offering food or shelter to the stranger down on their luck, they treat them worse than an animal. If you find yourself donating money to fight animal hunger but do not donate money to help the needy, what does that say about you? As Christians, people should see us bear the fruit of the spirit. Don't you wonder what Jesus would say to you if you fit the mold as I defined above?
We must value human life more than that of an animal.
The Bible calls us to value human life more than that of an animal. After all, humans are made in the image of God.
Genesis 1:27 NASB God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
After seeing the verse above, you can see why we must value human life more than an animal. God did not make creatures in his image. What makes us different from animals is that we have a soul. We were created to worship God. Part of being human is that we have to accept responsibility for our sins. God holds us to a standard, unlike animals. Humans are to rule over creatures. Take a look at this set of verses from Genesis.
Genesis 9:2-3 NASB The fear of you and the terror of you will be on every beast of the earth and on every bird of the sky; with everything that creeps on the ground, and all the fish of the sea, into your hand they are given. 3 Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant.
We are given the task to care for God's creation.
Proverbs 12:10 NASB A righteous man has regard for the life of his animal, But even the compassion of the wicked is cruel.
God also cares about his creation of animals. God cared so much that he commanded us to take the seventh day off so that we may allow our animals to rest. If God didn't care about his creation, he wouldn't have made this specific point about their treatment.
Exodus 23:12 NASB “Six days you are to do your work, but on the seventh day you shall cease from labor so that your ox and your donkey may rest, and the son of your female slave, as well as your stranger, may refresh themselves.
Think about what you are doing.
I wrote this blog to get you to think a little bit about how you value human life. When you see someone in need, just remember that God made them in his image as well. Since they are made in God's image, we should treat them with the upmost importance and dignity. Remember that what we do in this life, we should do it as if doing it for the Lord.