On June 24, 2022, the United States Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade. Instantly, emotion erupted from coast to coast, spewing viral lava all over social media. Some felt that rights were lost, while others felt that victory had been won; some didn’t know what to say, and others weren’t sure if they should say anything at all. This polarizing issue, personal to many, requires us to respond by pointing people to the truth of God’s Word and to seek the example of Jesus in how we do so.
The Gospel of John starts off in chapter 1 telling us about Jesus becoming flesh. It reads:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it…
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:1-5, 14)
Jesus came full of grace and truth. He had courage, but not without compassion. He had grit, but not without grace.
Pastor and theologian Timothy Keller explains why we need both virtues: “Truth without grace is not really truth and grace without truth is not really grace.” Without grace, truth becomes condemnation; but without truth, grace becomes compromise.
To our human minds, grace and truth can feel like an impossible balancing act. We want to have bold courage and speak up for what’s right, but we are called to compassion. How, then, can we be like Jesus, full of grace and truth? Let’s dive into God’s Word to find out.
“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27)
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them!” (Psalm 139:13-17)
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5)
God’s intentional creation of us is the foundation of our belief in the sanctity of life. It’s through this knowledge of His Word that we stand courageously for life at all stages. God sees and knows every child at conception. We cannot back down from this truth.
Before God formed us in the womb, He made plans for us–good plans that are full of hope (Jeremiah 29:11)! He sees our good, bad, and unimaginable moments, yet He doesn’t stand idly by. He continues to work all things for good (Romans 8:28) and He is moved with compassion.
“The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion.” (Psalm 116:5)
“The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.” (Psalm 103:8)
“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23)
“When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.” (Mark 6:34)
If God is full of compassion, why do we hold back from showing it in tangible ways? Do we fear the risk of compromise? Is our reluctance rooted in pride? We often say, “I don’t feel sorry for him” or “I just don’t have any compassion for her.” Unfortunately, Scripture doesn’t let us off the hook that easily.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” (Colossians 3:12)
In other words, if you don’t feel compassionate, go find some compassion and put it on.
Compassion is more than emotion; it is a motivator to do what we can to alleviate the heartache of those around us. Without it, courageous speech (based on truth) can be demeaning and off putting; it can communicate messages that we do not intend to send. God is compassionate; as His followers, we too must clothe ourselves with compassion.
We have the opportunity and the weighty responsibility to support those whom this monumental decision will impact. While the ruling is ultimately a win for life, it impacts the lives of women and families around the nation. In this current time of tension and unrest, let our compassion lead us to positive action.
Donate to or volunteer at a local pregnancy center. Women facing unexpected pregnancies need support and community as they walk through difficult life transitions.
Implement Embrace Grace in your church. “Being pro-life is a stance, but being pro-love is an action.” There are three opportunities to provide support and discipleship as this ministry seeks to utilize local church communities to minister to unexpected pregnant mothers through Embrace Grace, single mothers through Embrace Life, as well as young single fathers through Embrace Legacy. See how your church can get involved at https://embracegrace.com/get-involved.
Launch a Save One chapter in your church. SaveOne offers the Church the opportunity to help men, women, and families after abortion. With over 64 million abortions having happened in America, we would be hard pressed to find a family who hasn’t been impacted by this choice. SaveOne helps the church offer hope and healing to these families, ending the cycle of death and making abortion unthinkable. Using the SaveOne Bible studies for men, women, or family members in a confidential safe setting, takes this issue out of politics and controversy and puts it into the hands of the church with a loving, solid approach. You can start a chapter, find resources, or register for a training by going to saveone.org or emailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org
Consider adoption. More kids are coming, and some mothers may choose the path of adoption. We can prepare our hearts and homes to be the families those babies will need. There are no unwanted kids, just unfound families.
Become a licensed foster home. The changing of abortion laws does not equal a flooding of the foster care system. After all, the goal of foster care is reunification, and kids in foster care are not unwanted. However, as the Church, we can be ready to step in and offer temporary care to families in crisis.
Provide community resources. Your church may already offer parenting classes, benevolent ministries, a daycare, or a mother’s day out program. Consider making these resources easily accessible to women in crisis by opening enrollment to the public or funding scholarships.
Pray. Prayer is the most powerful and effective thing we can do. The fight is not over yet. We must continue to advocate for the vulnerable, and we can do so first through prayer. Here’s a FREE prayer guide to get you started: prayer.backyardorphans.org
We can live out the grace and truth of Christ when we do not merely celebrate the sanctity of life, but when we allow it to propel us toward compassionate action. Laws may change, but it is the example of Christ in our communities that will ultimately impact all lives.
Like we read in John 1:5, darkness cannot overcome the light. And the light of Jesus shines through every believer as they do what God has called them to do. Speak courageously for justice. Love others through kindness and compassion. Walk in humility with God.
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