Sacred. What does that word even mean?

We hardly use it anymore today. It sounds like a vegetable. “Yeah, we just planted some sacred between the beets and the squash.” But it’s a very important word. Because life is sacred. When our hearts lose the truth of that last sentence, we descend into the very worst of humanity. But when we live that truth, we reflect the best.

Google says sacred means:

  • Connected with God (or the gods) or dedicated to a religious purpose and so deserving veneration.
  • Religious rather than secular.
  • Of writing or text, embodying the laws or doctrines of a religion.

Wrong. That’s not even right! We totally don’t know what the word even means anymore. Sacred is not just a synonym for religious.

Wikipedia’s Sacred page starts with: “Sacred means revered due to sanctity and is generally the state of being perceived by religious individuals as associated with divinity and considered worthy of spiritual respect or devotion; or inspiring awe or reverence among believers. Objects are often considered sacred if used for spiritual purposes, such as the worship or service of gods.”

Wrong again. “Sacred means revered due to sanctity”? That’s a circular definition! At best, Wikipedia makes it sound irrelevant to everyday life. But nothing could be more relevant to life than an understanding, at the heart level, of this word.

Yes, both Google and Wikipedia capture the way the word is often used, but that’s not what it means. It is used in these ways because of what it means.

What “sacred” really means

Merriam-Webster reaches back a little further than the birth of the Internet. While listing similar definitions to Google and Wikipedia, Merriam-Webster also says this, which is the real definition of sacred:

  • Entitled to reverence and respect
  • Highly valued and important

Sacred is often used for religious meanings because we traditionally have considered God, and the things of God, worthy of respect and highly important. But sacred really means entitled to and worthy of reverence and respect, highly valued and important. Irreplaceable. Something you don’t mess with.

That’s your life. That’s my life. That’s our lives. That’s all human life. Human life is sacred, not to be messed with, because we’re created in the very image of God (Genesis 1:27). None of the animals were, only people. We alone are this unique blend of physical and spiritual life.

Human life is sacred. You don’t mess with it. When we forget this truth, or ignore it, we make devastating consequences for ourselves. We deal ourselves a huge loss.

During her American visit in the ’90s, when Bill Clinton was president, Mother Teresa was asked by Hillary Clinton, “Why haven’t we had a women president yet?” Mother Teresa didn’t even blink, “She was probably aborted.” HRC was not amused.

Every life has a tree of life attached to it.

Children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, etc. And that’s just heredity. Think about impact. We all touch thousands of lives. That touch matters, for good or ill. Those lives will never be the same.

Who’s inspired you? Who has pulled you back from the brink? A parent? A teacher? A coach? An author? A friend? Where would you be if that life never existed?

It’s a Wonderful Life, the black ’n’ white movie with Jimmy Stewart, is more than just a drippy Christmas movie. It’s an amazing example of this concept. You know the story. George Bailey, at the height of his despair over his own failed life, gets the tremendous gift of seeing what the world would be like without him. Turns out he’s not a failure after all. His life held back tremendous evil in his town, hugely affecting everyone in ways they would never know. Hundreds of men would’ve died on the other side of the world during WWII, because his medal-of-honor war hero brother wasn’t there to save them, because George wasn’t there to save him when he fell through the ice when they were children. Every life matters.

Life is sacred. You don’t mess with it.

The worst of humanity comes out when we lose sight of this truth. The Nazis. ISIS. North Korea. Stalin’s purges in the old Soviet Union. Abortion.

We’ve lost over 60 million lives due to abortion in America alone (which is a small number compared to the rest of the world). To put it in perspective, the Holocaust was 18 million. Our numbers are 3 times that, and counting.

If you count not just the deaths, but the devastation left in abortion’s wake, it’s at least 180 million. Because there’s a mother whose maternal nurturing identity was devastated with the death of her child. There’s a father whose paternal provider/protector identity was cut to the heart, replaced by a false identity of failure. And we haven’t counted grandparents or siblings yet, who also lost a family member.

The lie in the culture is about quality of life over sanctity of life.

Do any of these lies sound familiar?

“It was for the best, she’s got three kids on welfare already.” It doesn’t matter how poor the mother is. Do we really believe only rich people deserve to live? I thought money couldn’t buy happiness?

“The ultrasound and amniocentesis show the baby has Down’s syndrome. You should abort.” Have you ever known a child with Down’s syndrome? I have. These precious children bless the lives of everyone who meets them. Yet some countries have aborted almost every one of them, to their great loss. The eugenicists of the ’20s would be so proud. God forgive us and lead us to repent.

“She had her whole life ahead of her. She had to abort. Now she can go to college and her life can get back to normal.” Had to abort? That doesn’t sound like a choice. The truth is, her life will never get back to “normal,” whatever that means. Once she’s pregnant, she’s a mother. She can either be a mother who has a child, or a mother who lost one. But she will never again not be a mother.

All of these common excuses for abortion reflect quality of life, not sanctity of life. Life is sacred. You don’t mess with it.

If one life, especially the most vulnerable — the unborn who have no voice of their own to stand up for themselves — is not valued, then no one’s life is safe.

The culture of death does not stop with abortion. It starts there. Here’s the slippery slope:

  • Abortion
  • Assisted suicide
  • Euthanasia for the comatose
  • Euthanasia for the elderly
  • Euthanasia for the disabled
  • Euthanasia for the “undesirables”
  • The Final Solution

Sound familiar? Have you seen this movie? Haven’t we already had this nightmare? How many times do we have to stumble blindly down this road?

Let’s not let history repeat itself again. We can stop this.

Speak up for life. Support your local crisis pregnancy center. Help an unwed mother. Be the change we want to see. God will always strengthen us for this and answer that prayer. Perhaps we were born for such a time as this.

If you have had an abortion, or fathered an aborted child, get healing. Jesus loves you and has so much healing for you, but you can’t walk through it yourself. You need help, and it’s so available, just waiting for you. Here are some resources to help you find a Christ-centered, post-abortive recovery program in your area. And if you can’t find one, contact us at My wife (for women) or I (for men) will walk through it with you.–vision-statement.html


Visit Dave at and read more of his work here

Dave grew up in Los Angeles, CA, graduating with a Master’s in Mathematics from UCLA. He now lives in Stafford, VA, and has worked as a software engineer for 30+ years. He and his wife, Janet, volunteer at their local crisis pregnancy center doing post-abortive recovery. After much brokenness and loss in his family, job, and churches, Dave loves to write and share the healing he’s received.
Dave grew up in Los Angeles, CA, graduating with a Master’s in Mathematics from UCLA. He now lives in Stafford, VA, and has worked as a software engineer for 30+ years. He and his wife, Janet, volunteer at their local crisis pregnancy center doing post-abortive recovery. After much brokenness and loss in his family, job, and churches, Dave loves to write and share the healing he’s received.

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