“The words I speak to you are not incidental additions to your life — they are foundational words, words to build a life on.” -Matthew 7:24
The Oxford Dictionary defines “values” as: “Principles or standards of behavior; one’s judgement of what is important in life.”
Everyone has core values. It’s the very fabric that controls how they act, what they say, and how they feel. It’s what they base their spirituality, politics, profession, and relationships on. Although everyone has values, not everyone agrees on a basic set of values. While one person is an ardent believer in capitalism, another person may whole-heartedly subscribe to socialism. When asked why, each person can give a laundry list of values behind the reason they promote either societal system. Which one is right? Your values will dictate your answer.
Ultimately, that is the whole crux in the breakdown we see in society. The reason everything is so topsy-turvy is that our core system of values is all over the place and they are influenced by all sorts of mediums.
We have social media, reality television, news pundits, political voices, religious leaders, authors… you name it, there is no shortage of people spouting their “values” for your consumption. If you’re short on values, there are plenty of people out there who are willing to give you theirs.
But I must caution you, not all values are created equal and you have to be careful which ones you choose to sew into your own personal foundational fabric. Because whether it’s popular to say this or not, there is a set of true values in the world and they don’t fit into the “What’s true for you, is not always true for me” argument. They transcend all of that grey matter and sit firmly in the black and white camp. They are God’s unwavering values and are based on a truth and a reality that is much bigger than we are.
Now I firmly believe, that if we all agreed to live by these essential and life-giving values, we would see a huge difference in the world we live in. We would not see school shootings, sexual assault, political in-fighting, religious- and sect-based wars. Rather, we would live in peace because God’s values put all of this human silliness to rest.
So, before you argue that values change with the changing times, that we all get to believe what we want, and that values are of a very personal nature, you may need to “check yourself before you wreck yourself,” as the saying goes. Haphazard values lead to haphazard results… which honestly is all we’re seeing and getting in the world today.
On the other hand, God’s values, which are explicitly laid out in the Bible, will give you the same results each and every time: truth, integrity, and honor.
So, again, I ask, where do you get your value system and are you better for it? If not, maybe it’s time to sit down with the Bible and invest your energy into a value system that WILL provide you a better way of life.