In what sense is life precious?

In various political and religious arguments, participants state that “life is precious” as if that ends any discussion. This comes up in abortion, right to die, and many other discussions. Jesus commanded “Love one another.” But increasingly, I find that people in their day-to-day lives are self-absorbed - they are eager to tell you about their lives or grandchildren but could care less about your life. It does not seem they view other people’s lives as precious or interesting, just their own. I do believe God considered our lives all to be precious. I wonder if Jesus’ commandment instructs us to enrich our lives through more interest in others.

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In the Hebrew world view, humans were created in the image of God, and this is where the Judeo-Christian idea of the sanctity of life comes from. (Genesis 9:5)

A recent blog addressed that a bit. Basically , the author says that being kind to others is hard work, but we are called to do it. Experimental Theology: Tribal Kindness

Life is precious only in the sense of when you understanding what life is. It is not just a black and white thing where all that is important is extending it as long as possible. When Jesus said, “I came that they may have life, and have it more abundantly.” This wasn’t about medical treatments for the extension of the human life-span. There is a quality of life and I think that this is a very big part of what spiritual life (eternal life) is about – having that which makes our existence worthwhile. This is what we see when Jesus says, “Let the dead bury their own dead.” Our continued breathing and existence can be without life, if we lack the things which are the essence of life - love, creativity, passion, learning, serving, meaning, and fighting for goodness and better world – the things which make our life worthwhile. And sometimes paradoxically the greatest meaning and value is sometimes found in giving our lives for others. “John 15:13 Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

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