…begin with God. They are guiding principles that represent His truth and grace and help support life that is filled with peace, joy, and purpose. Christian values are not merely academic. Knowing them is easy, understanding them is a little more difficult, and living them requires a supernatural form of support. This is why God empowers His faithful believers with the gift of the Holy Spirit. This is why we have “Christ in us”, not just a tool to help lead and strengthen others, but also a gift from God to help us move from “glory to glory” as we follow Him. Within the values listed below we find Faith in God, Respect, Responsibility, Self-control, Integrity, Compassion, Contentment, Patiences,Peace, and Commitment.
(Mark 12:28-30) Worship is devotion. If I am devoted to anything more than I am devoted to God I have chosen to worship that thing or person above God. All of my devotion to a thing or a person should flow out of my devotion to please or glorify God in anything or any relationship.
Love All People
(Mark 12:31) People are made in the image and likeness of God. We respect them, expressions of love, for this reason alone. We not believe the same, we may not agree, and we may even be offended or hurt by their actions but we are still called to love them. When we love all people it means we seek their good in every situation. This value can be conflicting when we are forced to seek the harm of one or more in order to seek the good of others. Romans 13 essentially tells us that governing powers have authority over us to seek the good of the society. We also read in Acts 5:29 that obedience to God trumps our obedience to man.
(Matthew 5:5-9, 2 Timothy 2:22-25) Humility is the starting point for a relationship with God and leads to having positive relationships with others. In humility I recognize how sinful I am and my dependance on Christ grows. Through humility I also recognize how I have been hurtful to others and need to seek forgiveness. A humble person is opposite of a self-righteous person.
(Exodus 20:16) Honesty is a value that leads us to seek the truth. Deception was the tool Satan used to hurl this world and all its inhabitants into sin and darkness. Deception is false statements, half-truths, innuendos (an indirect remark about somebody or something, usually suggesting something bad, mean or rude), of failing to tell the whole truth. Dishonesty can also come in the form of rationalization. This can be a form of self deception by which we convince ourselves that sinful actions are justified in order to please our flesh or achieve a good result. (Galatians 6:7-8, 1 John 1:8). Honesty is also opposite of hypocrisy.
(1 Corinthians 6:9-11) Sometimes the Christian life is reduced to a list of moral actions, this is a sad reduction. Christian values are not less than living morally, but there is more included. We will fail to be morally right in every moment, but if we are humble we will have a penitent spirit (repentance) and desire to correct the immoral behavior. I choose the verse from 1 Corinthians because it has a wide verity of moral issues even though it is not exhaustive. It displays that sexual immorality is just as sinful as greed. We can sometimes proof text verse like this to pick out the things we want to highlight.
(John 3:16) The entire gospel rest on the foundation of this one value. God has been generous with us. Generosity isn’t measured in numbers, weather they are financial or hours of time. Generosity is measured in the heart and the willingness to sacrifice for others. (Hebrews 13:15-16). This values can appear to cause a conflict when weighed against a person who is unwilling to do for themselves but, 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12 clears up that conflict.
(Matthew 6:14-15) Every person sins, and God is a forgiving God who offered His only Son so that we could be forgiven of sin. Everyone loves forgiveness until they are hurt or offended, then forgiveness must be practiced. (Matthew 5:7)
Forgiveness, as well as any of these values, are values not because we simply know them intellectually, but because we practice them relationally. If we value it we will prioritize it, and change our actions and attitudes to demonstrate that value.
December 15, 2015
December 15, 2015
December 15, 2015