Summary: When we treat each other like dirt we are denying that God has made them in his image. We are eliminating the spiritual element of their existence.
When the world was six days old God decided that he was ready to pull out the big guns. He rolled up his sleeves and created humanity. He took some dust and breathed on it, and the bible tells us that the dust became man. He called the man of the ground Adam, which was a good name for him, but I guess that goes without saying because God is the one who named him, and God… well he pretty much rocks at everything. The Hebrew name for man is adam, and the Hebrew word for ground is adamah. So the scriptures tell us that God took Adamah and created adam who he named Adam. And it was very good.
From Day one humanity has been physical. We are flesh and blood we are people with physical needs, and physical desires, with physical hopes, and physical dreams. The scriptures tell us that we were formed from dust, and they promise that we will become dust again.
So just to make sure your trackin’ lets go over what it means to be human. Dust + Breath of God = human.
So next time your cleaning off your old t-ball trophies remember there is really only one thing that separates the winner of that trophy and the resident of that trophy. And that is breath. Of course it’s not just any breath but it’s a breath none the less, and that’s all our lives are. Or as the writer of ecclesiasts says, “everything is a breath .”
How great that breath must be.
The Hebrew word for breath is Ruach.
The Hebrew word for spirit is Ruach.
The Bible tells us the angels are spirit.
The Bible tells us that God is spirit.
The Bible tells us that we are spirit.
From Day one humanity has been spiritual. We are created from the very breath of God, in the image of God, in the likeness of God, to live forever with God. We are spiritual people with spiritual desires, spiritual hopes, and spiritual dreams. We were formed from the spirit of God, and God has called us to live spiritual lives.
Have you ever been hurt by something someone said?
Has anyone ever talked down to you?
Has anyone ever made you feel like dirt?
Have you ever made anyone else feel like Dirt?
In his book, Beyond the Last Tribe, Dr. Alan Rabinowitz tells the story of a pygmy tribe called the Taron. The Taron were a people who were shorter, and weaker then the tribes around them. Surrounding groups who would capture them and turn them into slaves continually dogged them. They became a group out outcasts, living at times in trees to avoid the slave runs. Since no one wanted them the tribe became very inbred. Eventually deformities started to emerge from within the tribe from the limited genetic diversity. The Taron recognized this and made a pact with one another to stop reproducing. They intentionally committed ethnic suicide. Today there are a few remaining Taron left, but the tribe has virtually disappeared from the earth and within a generation will be completely Gone.
Humanity can be ugly sometimes.
When we treat each other like dirt we are denying that God has made them in his image. We are eliminating the spiritual element of their existence. We tell them they are simply here and will shortly be gone. In doing so we tell ourselves the same thing. Every time we treat someone as if they aren’t worth it, we loose touch with the worth we ourselves have.
Jesus delivered an amazing sermon on a mountain in Galilee around the year 30AD in which he says something truly amazing.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
Eugene Peterson translates it like this: ” You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.”
By creating peace with others we find ourselves. By creating strife we loose ourselves.
Love brings life. Hate brings death.
You are worth it
Because God said so
And so is your boss, and your dad, and your neighbor, and the Taron, and the Jews in the holocaust, and the Nazis that killed them.
God created us all for a purpose. God created us, together, for a purpose.
Hate destroys all of us. Love builds all of us.
An early Christian evangelist named Paul puts it like this in a letter he wrote to an early church in Corinth: Each person is given something to do that shows who God is: Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits. All kinds of things are handed out by the Spirit, and to all kinds of people!