Humanity regularly inflicts atrocities against other humans and animals, yet it is barbaric to let allow them to suffer unnecessarily through torture and ill treatment. Any termination of life should be speedily carried out, without allowing suffering over a period as was the case with crucifixion or starvation.

Brutality does not originate with God; as Christians, we should be always outworking His nature and values, characterized by tenderness and compassion especially for the suffering or distressed while acting in a

Repay evil with blessing – 1 Peter 3:9

manner that causes the least harm to people or animals. “A righteous man cares for the needs of his animals” and we should “Do to others what we would like done for us” (Prov 12:10; Lk 6:31). If we are subject to inhumane treatment we are instructed to, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…Fix your eyes on Jesus who for the joy set before Him endured the cross…” (Mt 5:44; Heb 12:2). Thus, we have both a higher calling and a role model.

See also: compassion, cruelty, heartless, kill, malice, murder, persecution, rights.