Beyond Selfishness: What A Healed Bone Revealed

Date: March 14, 2024

Those who do not love do not know God because God is love. 1 John 4:8


What would you say is the sign of an advanced civilization? Laws? Culture? Religion?


Years ago, the anthropologist Margaret Mead was asked by a student what she considered to be the first sign of an advanced civilization. Everyone expected Mead to point to the discovery of fishhooks, clay vessels, or grinding stones. It’s easy to associate the advancement of society with intellect. But Mead had an unusual answer. She said that the civilization had arrived in an ancient culture when archaeological findings included a human thigh bone that had been broken and then healed.

In the animal kingdom, a broken leg means certain death. No animal in the wild can survive without the ability to run from danger, find food, and access water. A healed broken thigh bone is proof that someone took the time to care for an injured person—to carry them to safety, treat the wound and look after them during healing.[1]

We’re civilized when we love and connect with one another in difficulty. This type of care goes beyond selfish survival instinct. Serving one another with love and care is the model for living that Jesus gave us. He’s not primarily concerned with how clever you are or how you can advance this world. God is looking at the way you love.

The Bible book of 1 John, says, “Those who do not love do not know God because God is love” (I John 4:8). To know God is to serve and to care for others. When we do this, we’re living as a child of God. Whose needs, other than your own, can you meet in love today?

[1] Blumenfeld, Remy. “How a 15,000-Year-Old Human Bone Could Help You through the Coronacrisis.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 12 Oct. 2022,–coronavirus/?sh=61f6767a37e9.