One hears a good deal about values these days. But the emphasis is quite regularly on “my values” or “your values” or “their values.” That is, each of us chooses what is important to us, and whatever each of us chooses is just as significant and “valuable” as what anyone else might choose. That is, there are no “values” that transcend any of our own perceptions, or wills, or desires.
That is, of course, what has happened in western culture since the 1960’s. But what does the Bible tell us? It tells us that there is a God who has created us on purpose to share his holy character. He made us so that we would be like him, that is, in his image. If that is true, what ought the values of every person on earth be? His!
You say, “Is it that simple?” Yes, it is. What should be important for a person who recognizes that there is a God, who made us on purpose, and who holds us accountable for the resources he has given us?
I believe the Bible gives us four “values.” They are:
1. Pleasing God – “so that you may lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, as you bear fruit in every good work and as you grow in the knowledge of God.” (Col. 1:10 NRS)
2. Benefitting others – “See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to all people.” (1 Thess. 5:15 NLT)
3. Making disciples of Jesus – “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” (Matt. 28:19-20a NIV)
4. Raising up godly children – “Has not the one God made you? You belong to him in body and spirit. And what does the one God seek? Godly offspring.” (Mal. 2:15a NIV)
If a person comes to the end of their life and has succeeded in doing these, the Bible says we will merit a “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Are your values your Creator’s values? They should be.