J.C. Derrick: Dishing up dignity

NICK EICHER, HOST: Today is Tuesday, July 10th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from member-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Nick Eicher.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard. In 1954 Dr. Seuss published a book called, Horton Hears a Who. In it he repeats the message: “A person’s a person, no matter how small.”

WORLD Radio’s J.C. Derrick is here now with some thoughts on whether we really believe that.

J.C. DERRICK, MANAGING EDITOR: On a recent Saturday morning I stopped by a donut shop with my two boys. The lady behind the counter couldn’t get enough of 2-year-old Eli—with his blond hair and blue eyes. She smiled warmly, waved, and said hello.

Then as we were checking out, she said, “Oh, he’s just too cute. I’m going to give him an extra donut.” Then she threw in two free donuts.

As we walked out, Eli babbled something to the woman, and she literally squealed with delight. She put her hands over her face, as if embarrassed at just how much she was gushing over this child.

We’ll post a photo of Eli at worldandeverything.org today—and I think you’ll agree… he’s really cute.

But this exchange got me thinking, too. If Eli looked more ordinary, would he still have been worth the extra donuts? What if he’d been in a wheelchair, or had a facial scar… or maybe been born with Down syndrome?

Jesus said let the little children come to me (Mat. 19:14), so I’m certainly not complaining when we welcome them into our lives. My concern is that we value some people over others—based on something as superficial as looks.

We all do it. We make snap judgments about people, subconsciously sizing them up and putting them in a silent pecking order.

Do you value the opinion of the guy who is 5-5 as much as the guy who is 6-5? I am personally much closer to 5-5 than 6-5, but I’ll admit to doing this at times.

What about the friend who is obese versus the friend who is fit and tan? Do you make more time for one than the other?

What about those who are a different color than you? How differently do you treat the doctor and the janitor?

We silently make a million such judgments every day. And we’ll never get them all right, but we’ll be prone to gross prejudice if we’re not at least thinking purposefully about this.

I’m currently reading an excellent new book called The Dignity Revolution. Author Daniel Darling makes a compelling case for why the gospel should drive all believers to treat everyone with dignity and respect. Regardless of looks. Regardless of race. Regardless of political views.

Every human being is made in the image of God. Full stop.

So the next time you’re divvying up your time, or making friends, or maybe just giving away a free donut, pause to think about why you’re doing what you’re doing. And whether you’re dishing up dignity at the rate the gospel demands.

For WORLD Radio, I’m J.C. Derrick.

Photo courtesy J.C. Derrick

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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