Waste Not

James 1:21-22 – Therefore putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. (NASB)

2.6 billion people world-wide (1.6 million in the U.S.A. alone) have no sanitation. That is four out of ten people who have no access to any latrine, toilet, bucket, or box. The disease toll is stunning. One gram of feces can contain ten million viruses, one million bacteria, one thousand parasite cysts, and one hundred worm eggs. People who live in areas of inadequate sanitation ingest ten grams of fecal matter per day. One person dies every 15 seconds from sanitation-related diseases — mostly children — an average of 2.2 million a year. These startling facts are from the very shocking read, The Big Necessity: The Unmentionable World of Human Waste and Why It Matters by Rose George.

Most of us prefer not to think about such things. Some may be offended even now while reading this devotional. But I ask, would you want anyone near and dear to you to die from something easily cured with sewers, disposal units, and sewage treatment plants? Of course not!

The world's sewage problem is also a picture of what happens when we could tell someone about Jesus and choose not to. Lives polluted with sin are just as poisonous as those lived amid a lack of sanitation.

What can we do? Write letters. Challenge political leaders. Push for clean-up in the world of sewage. Give financially. But most of all, share Jesus.

Prayer: Lord, we prefer to think lovely thoughts, but You call us to see truth as it is. Help us to be part of the solution, in both physical and spiritual ways. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.