I heard today about a troubling document that the U.S. Government VA (Department of Veteran’s Affairs) has been promoting—“Your Life, Your Choices.” This is a very important subject to think about and one that relates extensively to the current Health Care Debate as well as the freedoms that many of us see quickly eroding away. This news today follows an extended conversation I just had with a friend from work, where we even discussed these very ideas. In addition, the experience I have had on the college campuses over the years, along with my experience of tragedy within the mental health community, following the terrible tragedy at Virginia Tech, gives me a more unique perspective to address this very important issue.
Our society is struggling to find answers to the difficult questions we face today. Technology and medical advances give more options for controlling and comforting our lives. There are machines available today that can analyze more aspects of the inner workings of the human body and even artificially support or extend the life of the body. We have access to more medications and increasingly more medical procedures that help relieve or control our pain and suffering. Whether or not you have faced the personal questions of artificially supporting life, you have certainly benefited from the technological advances that improve the quality and comfort of our lives. This is true on so many levels with basic appliances or services (even like having electricity and clean water) that we often take for granted. The reason we as a society are struggling with these issues more today goes even deeper—it begins down at the spiritual level I have often addressed in my various blog articles.
All of the “life” issues must be understood in the context of our Creator GOD. There has been such a separation of GOD from the inner workings within government and many companies and businesses today. This is not the way America worked at its founding, nor the way that our government was established to operate. The founders warned how abandoning this would lead to our down fall. The Truth understood at the beginnings and in the founding statements of our most prestigious colleges and universities is far different from the secularized emphases today. Values have declined or lost their substantive power because we have isolated them to a small segment of our lives or made man the measure of them. Publicly, this is seen in the way many view religion as belonging only in the Church or privately as only a small portion of one’s life. Whether abortion, euthanasia or the worth and quality of life is in view, we must relate it all to GOD and what He has revealed.
Friend, GOD has given each of us life and we must value this life as coming from Him. We must also look to support life in general and the life of others in particular with whatever opportunities God gives us. The Bible clearly teaches this. God has given you a freedom of choice, yet your life must not be abandoned to only your own ideas or the ever changing ideas of men. Secularized psychology has so influenced our thinking and often replaced the Bible as an authoritative guide for human life. In fact, based on my own experience, many psychologists often view one as “lacking insight,” “mentally ill,” “psychotic” or even “delusional” if they are simply more vocal about daily living out their faith. I know this experientially. It is at the root of my own tragedy. Jesus said that HE is the Way, the Truth, and the Life” (John 14:6). He said that He came first to enable us to have spiritual life and such that it makes our entire life more abundant (John 10:10). In fact, the Christian knows that his or her life belongs to The Creator (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). The Government would do well to consider this further and the VA in particular should look to promote life and not lead people to question the worth of their own life based on being “in a wheelchair,” being a “severe financial burden” to family, or struggling with pain and suffering, as they do within this VA document. The freedoms of each of us are increasingly at risk when we buy into this limited and incomplete understanding to say: it is your life and your choice to live or die however you want.