May 11, 2014
Being “Human” Requires No Apology
For You have made him a little lower than the angels, And You have crowned him with glory and honor.
David marveled at the majesty of God’s creation and was amazed that God gave human beings such a glorious and honorable place in that creation. “You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands,” David sang to God. “You have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen — even the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea that pass through the paths of the seas” (Psalm 8:6-8). Humanity is the crowning jewel of the physical cosmos, all the rest of which was made mostly to be a habitat or home for humankind.
We sometimes excuse our mistakes by saying that we’re “only” human, as if human beings were such limited creatures that nothing more than mistakes could be expected of them. The truth, however, is just the opposite. If we have anything to apologize for, it’s for being less than human! Our trouble is not our humanity; it’s that we’re content to think and act as mere beasts, rather the noble creatures we truly are, made in the image of God.
Jesus of Nazareth was the most fully human being who has ever lived. What we see in Him is a living example of what God had in mind when God designed the human race. Jesus shows us our true dignity in God’s plan — and also the absurdity of the devil’s plan to give us a “higher” place than God has let us have.
The challenge that is set before us, then, is not to be “only” human, but to be fully human. It’s not a burden but a privilege to be such creatures as we are. We should accept the honor that God has bestowed upon us. Our God‑given endowments are wonderful; we should be grateful for them and use them to the praise of His glory. Sin has surely marred God’s making of us, but God has made a way, in God’s Son, for our created dignity to be restored. So rather than complain or make excuses about our “nature,” we should be reaching for our destiny. In every word and deed, we should be showing what a glorious thing it is to be human.
O Lord God, we pray that we may be inspired to nobleness of life in the least of things. May we dignify all our daily life. May we set such a sacredness upon every part of our life that nothing shall be trivial, nothing unimportant, and nothing dull, in the daily round.
Henry Ward Beecher