Collateral Damage – do we value lives or property?

Yemen, Ukraine, Syria, millions of people are caught in wars they didn’t start, over interests that aren’t relevant to their survival and the lands they live in are being fought over by people who have an agenda.

The senseless bombing, use of toxins and chemical weapons, heavy street fighting and of course diplomacy the curse of governments talking. The expression negotiated settlement generally implies that someone loses but never the people who have the power.

Best intentions and the desire for peace seem well-meaning but the human cost is calculated later. Often as a cash sum, can that be right? How many caught in the collateral damage had the mental skills to find cures for diseases, tackle the issues facing the environment, propose a way to end world hunger? Those firing the weapons don’t count that as a cost, the opportunity cost to society. Indiscriminate killing shows life has no value because wars continue.

The economic fallout

For the major developed countries, interest depends on the impact on the global economy, for example, the war in Yemen can be said to boost the world economy because both sides need weapons and this comes before the people.

Ukraine is a bigger issue because of its proximity to NATO and the effect on the global economy, we have wall to wall coverage of this war.

And yet how valuable is a life? Any life?

Governments send people to fight wars, the shells and munitions take lives indiscriminately and tomorrow they send another batch of people.

Life is cheap and those left behind have to then rebuild is this fair? Morally right? or even natural?

Few modern rulers lead their troops into battle, fight on the front lines or are prepared to give their life for the people.

Contrast God’s Kingdom

How does God calculate your value? Note Jesus’ words at Matthew 10: 29 “Two sparrows sell for a coin of small value, do they not? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s knowledge.30 But even the hairs of your head are all numbered.31 So have no fear; you are worth more than many sparrows.”

Here is the price he paid John 3: 16 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son, so that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life.17 For God did not send his Son into the world for him to judge the world, but for the world to be saved through him.”

The outcome for those who put faith in Jesus’ sacrifice John 17: 3 “This means everlasting life, their coming to know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ.”

Those who die in human warfare may get their name on a plaque on the war memorial, those who die because of the collateral damage are not remembered beyond that generation.

Note the bible promise for those who are caught up in the universal warfare John 5: 28 “Do not be amazed at this, for the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice29 and come out, those who did good things to a resurrection of life, and those who practiced vile things to a resurrection of judgment.”

Our life is precious to God, he remembers everyone of us and he knows the reasons for the choices we make so we can conclude that we are more valuable than property, more memorable than sparrows and we have the chance to avoid being just a statistic, a name on a wall for a forlorn cause – the pursuit of power. Remember what Psalm 146: “3 Do not put your trust in princes Nor in a son of man, who cannot bring salvation. 4 His spirit goes out, he returns to the ground; On that very day his thoughts perish.”

Human rulership is limited and time-constrained, what is important to this generation isn’t that important to another. Jehovah God’s Kingdom is for eternity, his mercy unlimited and he is the personification of love. If you haven’t discovered those key qualities about the God of the Bible we encourage you to begin by understanding his Son Jesus Christ. Millions are following Lent and leading to Easter but why is this time so important? The following posts will explain why we can be certain the Jesus Death means something to each of us and every one who has ever lived.

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