Devotional: Missed opportunities

Published 5:51 pm Sunday, February 20, 2022

It seems like just last year that I was watching and commenting on the Olympics. Oh, yes…, it was. Then, of course, it was the Summer Olympics. Now, we are back into the Winter. I have watched a few events and got to see America put out it’s very best. That’s fine and very good, but what I wanted to think about here is the strange quandary that the advertisers are facing in the Olympics. Since they have a global platform, some are urging them to address the injustices and human rights abuses in China while the world is watching in that direction. They could use this time to focus on what needs to change for better human dignity and better value of life. Every nation in the world has struggled with valuing all lives at some point in its history. Of course, we in the family of God believe every life should always be valued as precious to God, and therefore, precious to us. In simplest terms – God doesn’t make junk (beautifully, the opposite!).

The flip side is that the businesses and sponsors are not the same kind of moral agents that we are as children of God. They were not begun for the purpose of advancing a moral agenda but to make money through products. This strange situation is fascinating to me. Of course, companies must have a sense of morality. If they abused their employees or violated laws or damaged the environment, they would be called to account. If they do business in places where life is devalued, freedoms are undermined, and their own standard for what is good or right is ignored, then do they have an obligation to do something?

The companies, by and large, are not doing anything and remaining silent for fear of Chinese backlash. I get it. Their first concern is the bottom line and China is a huge market. On the flipside, every organization, every business, every piece of economy, every government action, everything of everything somehow relates back to people. I know I would admire a business that promoted a vision for the value of all lives. It seems to me that this reflects God’s heart. 

Any opportunity that we have to remember how much God loves all the little children is an opportunity we do not want to miss. While I cannot fault the companies for advancing their financial objectives, it seems like that influence could be used for greater good. So many people over there and over here need to be remembered, need to be protected, need to be loved back into relationship, need to be shown that they matter in this world. If the children of God will not lead that effort in whatever capacity, who will?

Blessings to you all and happy Olympics watching!

Rev. Dr. Peter Smith is the pastor for Farmville Presbyterian Church. He can be reached at pastorfpc@centurylink.net.