by Alveda King (Priests for Life)



     Once, President John F. Kennedy said, "Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country." I've considered these words more and more these days. I've also considered the words of Pope Francis who is reminding us of The Bible's mandate to pray for our enemies.  

     Often, we encounter people who do not think as we think, who do not believe what we believe. The strife and friction of such an environment will generally breed malcontent, and at the extreme peak, violence of the heart, tongue, and fist can arise. This should not be, if we really desire to please the Lord. 

     Almost daily I encounter questions about what to do about abortion and issues of human sexuality. The issues are presented so forcefully that if we didn't know better, we would think that these are the only two issues plaguing humankind.  

     I find myself asking not what to do about abortion, or human sexuality-or poverty, or sickness and disease, for that matter-but rather how I can serve those who are troubled or in pain on any level. I find much wisdom, comfort and direction in this Bible passage from 2 Timothy 2:24-25: "A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people's hearts, and they will learn the truth."     

     The truth is that God loves us. Our Creator wants what is best for us. To prove this, God sent us Jesus to share our burdens and cancel our sin debt. A portion of John 3:16-18 in The Message Bible reads:


"God didn't go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again."      

Because God has rescued me from the error of my ways, including the abortions, divorces, and so many other sins, I know that I would be the biggest of hypocrites if I would try to condemn and judge others who are struggling with life's issues, no matter what they are.  

     Of course, there is a place for protests, for demonstrations, for boldly proclaiming that sin is not the way. Awareness comes when people are informed, equipped and mobilized with messages that expose darkness. Yet, it isn't the method that matters so much as it is the motive by which we are working. Do we want to see people's lives and hearts transformed? Do we want people to see how bad they are, or do we want them to know and experience how good God is? 

     If you are like me, you are sometimes a "Hammer for Justice." But watch your motives. We can deliver some pretty strong words sometimes, especially when we are on the battlefield; after all, we are soldiers and warriors. And yet our greatest weapons are faith, prayer, and agape love.


  • Rather than embracing a sense of panic and defense, go on the offense. Ask yourself, "What can I do to help?" rather than asking, "What can I do to convince?" List the ways that come to mind to reach out to post-abortive and even pre-abortive, "at-risk" women in your community. Meditate on 1 John 4:16-21.
  • Do you know someone who is living a lifestyle that doesn't line up with your doctrine? Maybe that kind word, that gentle smile, that truth spoken in love will do more to reach them than your loudest warning. Invite this person to get together with you, and pray that he/she would be assured of God's love and grace available through Jesus Christ (Romans 5:6-8).
  • Ask God to allow His peace and love to embrace, fill, and empower post-abortive women in your community to make right choices and seek the goodness of God. Ask the Father to draw them with His goodness, impressing upon their spirits the beauty of how He heals the brokenhearted (Isaiah 61:1-4).
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