The dignity of life

Our society is confused about life. The confusion is showcased in the debates surrounding the two bookends of life: its beginning and end. But the confusion doesn’t end there.

In considering the beginning of life, Thursday saw the NSW upper house pass a bill that would enforce a 150m “safe zone” around NSW abortion clinics. Not safety for the unborn child. Not even safety for the expectant mothers. It’s not a “safety zone”, but a “silencing zone”, where the voices opposed to abortion cannot speak for fear of prosecution. Our society is closing their ears to the reality of when life begins to make their lives easier.

On the other side of the pendulum, debates continue around euthanasia. “Dignity” is the objective, with our society under the tragic belief that dignity is lost when control over one’s body is lost. Pain is the enemy, with no possibility that good can come out of it. Instead of being a precious gift, life becomes a burden.

In between isn’t immune from the confusion either. The uncertainty of what life is about, our purpose, has led to a culture in crisis. Instead of seeing that “man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever”, our society has no clue. People live for sex, pleasure, power, leisure, travel, entertainment, success, popularity and money. Anything but what we’ve been made for.

Life is about glorifying God and enjoying him. From its beginning to its end. “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor 10:31). God is the one who formed us (Ps 139:13), and the one who determines when we’ll take our final breath (Ps 90:15). What a tragic world we live in, with people who don’t know the God they’ve been made to glorify.