What does it mean to be human?
This question has amazing implications and considering it can affect ones life in so many ways. In this day we see so many issues vying for the attention and approbation of people and society: euthanasia, abortion, stem-cell research, life purpose, evolution, biology, history, life after death. You name it and a carefully thought out belief system regarding the nature of humanity can at the very least assist in the formation of your opinion on the matter.
Of course this is not to say that I have any special dispensation of knowledge regarding the nature of humanity, merely a few ideas that thought floating around in the nebular regions of the cranium. And I doubt that any of you do not at least have some idea of your own thoughts on the matter. Even if you’ve not consciously thought: “hmm, I wonder what it means to be human?” You’ve at least thought at some time, usually in the midst of a spate of bad luck and in a voice fraught with emotion, “Why me?”
“Why me” indeed. And the answer: “because, just because.” I am reminded of Job’s anguished cry: “Why me, God, Why me?” Here he was, a holy man by any measure known to man or God, blameless even to the point that he was apparently God’s favorite human, and that’s something to be proud of, a laurel you can really hang over the mantel. “Why me?” he asks and the answer comes back from God: “Because, because I’m God and you’re human.” God didn’t enjoy watching Job squirm under the Devils’ special ministrations like an hapless any under some cosmic magnifying glass. God is not some super-bully who piques his dirty henchys’ ire towards the little kid on the playground. No, God is Love. God said to Job, because I’m holy and you’re not, and I’m sovereign and you’re not, and you’ll never understand the full reason, but this you will: that you will be holier because of it.
As though we could ever be Holy in the sense that God is Holy. No, the best we’d ever get is a lower-case holy. But God, being loving to all and Love to His children, overlooks our fault and sees only holiness. Holiness that is not out own,either, but that of His Sons gift of blood. So holy Job, realizing that for all his holiness is reminded that he must still watch for the pride, that sense of self-entitlement, that seeks to hold what he’d earned close. God allowed it to be taken away to show He was the reason behind it all.
So what makes us human? Is it language? Self-awareness? Social nature? Rational thought? One could argue for and against each of these and many others and only when the root answer is reached will it ever make sense. We are human because, because God is God and we are not, because God Loves us even so and made us first in His own image with an eternal soul and with a never-ending desire for a relationship with him. Hell will be hell because those in it will be forever separated from the object of their deepest need and that without remedy. That will be inhuman.