LIFE Essay Contest - High School
Please see the winners of the 2021 contest, and check later this year for information regarding the 2022 contest.
1st Place Essay - Human Purpose by Grace Ricci (Lutheran High North)
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit,” John 15:16. Every person’s purpose is to love God, love others, and share the Gospel. Each human being is made in God’s image, so he is precious. However, the world advertises a different message. People have become desensitized to murder. Through promotion of abortion and euthanasia, society has become convinced that outside circumstances minimize a person’s value and purpose.
People have lessened the meaning of life’s purpose by consciously murdering the most innocent form of human life, a child. Many of those who are in support of abortion claim that a fetus has no value since it is simply a clump of cells. However, there are significant contradictions in this argument. Are not humans who are alive today made of cells? A fetus also satisfies the seven characteristics of life: “order, sensitivity or response to the environment, reproduction, growth and development, regulation, homeostasis, and energy processing” (courses.lumenlearning.com). A cell is made of membrane bound organelles, grows into a zygote, and maintains a stable internal environment. A fetus also takes in energy from its mother’s food. In addition to society’s unwillingness to recognize a fetus as a form of life, it advocates for the woman’s choice to rip apart her own child if she is not financially stable or ready to have a family, so that she can succeed in her work life and career goals. They dismiss the child’s intrinsic value because of the mother’s circumstances. Contrastingly, Scripture emphasizes that circumstances do not determine one’s value, and no innocent human being can be murdered since he is made in the image of God. God “created my inmost being, He knit me together in my mother’s womb” (Psalm 139:13-14). God commands each of His children to find Him in every situation. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” There is hope for every child to have a joyful life since Jesus conquered sin and death. Human life is sacred since each person is made in God’s image. Clearly, society’s advocation for abortion blurs the true meaning of human life.
Euthanasia contributes to the ideology that each person should be able to determine when he dies, and this has corrupted the meaning of human purpose. “In the Netherlands, children as young as twelve, who are terminally ill, can request euthanasia, with parental consent” (mydeath-mydecision.org). Euthanasia is promoted as a treatment that saves human beings from suffering any difficult circumstance. People who request it believe that they would be better off as dust. Society paints a picture that it is not God’s time to decide when people will die, but their own. Conversely, Scripture emphasizes that only God knows the hour of each person’s death. Acts 1:7 says, “It is not for you to know times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.” A person’s disease does not lessen his value or purpose since Jesus already conquered their illness. Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world,” (John 16:33). Jesus knows that His children will face challenges. However, He provides them with the gift of life because no matter how difficult their circumstances may be, when they turn to Him, they can have peace and find contentment in their souls. God can use someone who survived cancer to mentor those who are enduring chemotherapy. He can use a disabled veteran to preach his patriotism to future generations in America. Evidently, the world promotes the message that a person cannot have any hope if they are ill, depressed, or convinced that they would simply be better off dead. In Jesus, people can find purpose in their life in serving the Lord.
Circumstances do not lessen a person’s value. Each child of God is meant to bear fruit. God designs every human being to spread the Gospel and love others. In time, society will hopefully understand the real meaning of human purpose.
2nd Place Essay - The Man’s Point of View by Gavin Girard (Valley Lutheran HS)
As a young Christian male, rooted in faith, I have faced relentless backlash for simply being a man in standing against the mistreatment of the unborn. Men have been snuffed out of even engaging in conversation on the issue of abortion. We have no say. We are tossed aside and bombarded with the silencing battle cry of, “My body, my choice!” The issue has completely transformed into one of the biggest civil rights battles of our lifetime. I was not predestined with the anatomical features that is the woman, so am I inferior? Is this taking shape as another form of suppression? Do men truly not have a say in the life and death of their own child?
As years eclipse, in the United States, we lose 36,000 people on our highways. Every 16 days we lose surplus amount to abortion. On a personal note to our school community, we lost someone we all deeply loved in a tragic motorbike accident at summer's end of last year. His name was Dawson. In fact, I’m wearing a bracelet with his name inscribed with a Bible verse of First Thessalonians 4:13-14, which reads, “But we do not want you to be uninformed, ..., about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.” We are blessed to know that Dawson is walking with Christ in His kingdom which is depicted in the book of Isaiah 43:1, “Fear not for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are MINE.” We are chosen by Him and are called to replenish the earth with babies that abide in His Word and people like our classmate Dawson.
I personally didn’t know Dawson, but have many friends who did. They haven’t grieved like I have grieved. I haven’t felt what they felt. But when any life is taken abruptly it leaves a hole in our hearts. It defames our Father’s creation and masterful artwork. Fathers will always play a role in the lives of their children. They are a vital piece of the family structure. Once they are denied the right to have a say in the unborn child’s life, it is an inhumane abomination of God’s handiwork.
Pro-choice advocates have thrown curve balls at me and try to strike me out. They try to make the “anti-choicers” look ignorant and make them stumble. When we are educated, we are stronger in the fight to defend life. Keep in mind that the Pharisees and high priests did the same thing to Jesus. We must be Jesus with skin on and respond with scripture. But what about in the cases of rape? A circumstance where men don’t care for the mother? Should she be able to access an abortion? We are reminded in the Bible in Exodus 20:13, “You shall not murder.” But we also have to remember that all sins are equal and all children were knit together by the Author of Life in their mother’s womb no matter the circumstances according to Psalms 139. Rape should never justify abortion, but we should always be apologetic and prayerful to those who have aborted their son or daughter in the circumstances of rape.
Man and woman come together to create life with half the mother’s DNA and half the father’s DNA. One egg and one sperm ignite to make you. At the moment of conception, you are you. You are always developing, even outside the womb. There should be no controversy. The baby inside the beautiful home that is the mother is his baby just as much it is the mother’s. But above all else, it is God’s son or daughter in that womb, and He loves them just as much as He loves you.
God is faithful and just and He seeks repentance from those who do evil. Men are just as important as the women in the moments of conception and development. Men should love the woman and the child with equilibrium and trust God and the scripture to remain diligent in the fight for life.