There has never been a time in history when there are more people living in slavery and oppression.  Estimates say that 21 million people are trafficked into sexual service or work against their will.  This is not limited to “other places.”  It occurs everywhere – Asia, South America, Europe, Africa, and North America.  And trafficking occurs at heightened levels of intensity surrounding major events, like the World Cup, or like the Super Bowl.  February is a month in which the Wesleyan Holiness Consortium is observing Freedom Sunday.  This is a day when we are trying to bring to greater awareness this scourge on humanity.

Human Trafficking is wrong at the deepest level. It is not just unfair, it is an injustice.  Fairness has to do with inequity – who got more or less.  It is related to entitlement and fairness has at its core, the desire to get as much as the next person.  When someone gets more ice cream, more time, more recognition, more access the person cries fowl and says “it’s not fair.”  The shadow side of fairness is selfishness.  And selfishness is the essence of sin.

Human Trafficking is an injustice.  Injustice is the assertion of one’s selfishness over another.  So it is the rawest form of sin.  It starts in the assertion of self by use of power in controlling or overwhelming another person.  In so doing, it is engaged in the activity of deconstructing the image of God in another. And for those perpetrators, something is incrementally put to death within them. The image of God in them similarly dies. 

Justice is about renewing, recognizing, and restoring the image of God in every person.  We engage in battling Human Trafficking not just because it is a bad thing, but more because it is consistent with the natural engagement of people who are committed to the image of God in themselves and restoring the image of God in others – victims and perpetrators.  Please take seriously the call of God to engage in justice.  It’s what Christ- followers do because it is inherent in who we are.

Be aware. Be involved. Be an agent of God’s justice.

Kevin Mannoia