The world is going crazy: wars, killings, economic disaster, hate, nations murdering en mass their own people (starving them, harvesting their organs, devaluing human life)— and on and on it goes. In such a world, we each need to choose our values to stabilize our lives at the very least. Our values are what, in the long run, we cherish most and need most.
We Must Choose Our Values Wisely
Values are beliefs. We need to choose our values wisely. The good values act as signposts, pointing to the truth of how a life can be lived well. I hope you agree that there is both good and bad in our world. And in this world, we have to sort out the good from the bad. Forming our values and beliefs is basic to finding our way in this broken world.
Where Should We Look When We Choose Our Values?
True, there are many voices and opinions about right and wrong, beliefs, and values. It is also true that the world is maybe worse than it has ever been. The 20th century was the bloodiest in many, many centuries. The 21st century is starting out no better. While wonderful things in the name of human reason and science have been accomplished, progress toward a better society is just not happening. Progress toward standards for right and wrong is not happening, either. This is the most advanced technological period in all of history. Yet it has failed to engineer more happiness and peace. Therefore, if technology, human reason, and science are not leading us to a better society, we must look elsewhere!
What Is the Best Way to a Better World and a Better Life?
Do you agree that a world without such dehumanizing behaviors as we see often on the news is where we should be headed? What is our failure? And what can provide us with the best way to a better world and to a better life? Why are we stuck in centuries of trying the same things over and over again, yet expecting different results? (To say it again, the “same thing” is relying on imperfect human wisdom to provide a perfect answer). You probably have heard Einstein’s famous quip that to keep doing the same thing and expect different results is the mark of insanity. I know, I know… that’s overstated in order to make a point. But its point is valid.
Humans are proving that their “wisdom” is, sadly, turning out to be foolishness — and sometimes, catastrophic failure when it comes to solving critical issues, such as love, freedom, respect for human life, and shaping a better world.
When humans turn to human wisdom for answers, they are turning to a source of knowledge that is imperfect, incomplete, and therefore, obviously lacking in effective and authoritative answers.
Does that thinking sound smart? Let’s try something better — in fact, the best.
Tolerance Is Inadequate
The goal must be set higher than mere inadequate tolerance of each other. Tolerance of each other and each other’s beliefs does not work for long, if ever. The practical display of love from the heart is a higher standard. It stretches every one of us. Yes, it’s the Christian standard for behavior. However, we all know (unfortunately) that Christians have not always followed their God in this matter, although they have been told to do so
“This is the command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another [this means everyone] as he has commanded us… everyone who loves… knows God, for God is love… if we love each other, God lives in us…” (excerpts from I John chapters 3 and 4). This goal must never be compromised, even in our speech: “…speak the truth in love,” Ephesians 4:15.
Both truth and love are unchangeable goals for our lives if we want a better world.
We Must Reach for the Ultimate Standard in Choosing Our Values
So, are those who fail to achieve this standard proof that the standard is wrong? No. We are all imperfect. And Christians should be the first to admit they are imperfect.
What then do we do when we fail? Believe in forgiveness, which is the heart and soul of the Christian message to failing human beings. Then, we must aim again at nothing less than the ultimate standard: loving each other as God loves us. Sometimes we reach this demanding standard. And when we don’t, we prove we are the problem — not the standard.
This fourth way to find truth directs us to the only effective goal. And it provides for our failures as well. It unsticks the failed efforts that have always characterized human wisdom: to find the answer to human brokenness in mere human wisdom. Life’s guidance is found in a higher source. It’s good (no, it’s great!) news!
In my new book Who Am I?, I describe how we have become “crooked thinkers” and how to break out of this prison of the mind to become instruments of change for a better world by recognizing the source of our value as humans. You can get your copy HERE. (Psst! Subscribers to my weekly updates can receive a 15% discount and free shipping from the above link!)
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