These days, much conversation centers on the subject of values. Election years tend to do that for us. Journalists and campaign spin doctors, alike, are making much of the values that they say represent a candidate or his party. I submit to you that most of our political figures have only one value—them.
Look at this definition of a value: “A principle, standard, or quality considered worthwhile or desirable.” Though it’s not stated, I think it’s implied that when one determines something to be of value for them, they are willing to sacrifice to see that “value” upheld. Values become the lens by which we see our world. When we come to value something, it’s not easily changed by culture, conversation or an opinion poll. Values are formed over the course of time and are weathered by the storms that life brings to us.
Now, what are your values? For Christ followers, much of what we value is given to us from God’s word. We value life, forgiveness, grace, family, love and service among many others. These are values that Christ modeled, the prophets taught and Paul preached. Have our churches clung to those values? Or, have we tended to become like political candidates seeking a swing in the popularity polls? Do we compromise what’s important for what’s convenient? Let me get real controversial here and tell you that I believe that’s exactly what many Christ followers have done (some I know and love but am struggling with this election season). Consider a recent conversation I had with a young lady who professes to follow Christ. Her particular support of an anti-life (or pro-death if you choose) candidate wasn’t sitting very well with me. In the interest of friendly debate, I asked her why the candidate’s stance on this issue didn’t bother her. Her reply was, “Oh, I don’t agree with him on this. I just think he’s the best solution for our economy.”
I pondered her response for a brief moment and came back with the only thing I knew to say, “I’m sorry.”
“For what?” she asked.
“I’m sorry that you, along with other Christians who have chosen to support this man, have come to the conclusion that God is more concerned about your stock performance and your fuel bill than He is about unborn babies and families that are under attack.” Our conversation ended there.
Don’t get me wrong. I am equally concerned about my wife’s ability to sell houses and the financial stability of the hundreds of people who are part of my church family. I want them to be able to pay their bills and feed their families. Here’s my concern. I believe our economy has suffered because we’ve forsaken our values, gotten away from what really matters to God, and chosen to seek our comfort rather than keeping our character intact. God help us when bailouts and tax relief become more important than unborn babies and the sanctity of marriage as one man and one woman. When we reach that point (as millions of us have) no amount of economic stimulus can relieve us from the judgment of a God who is holy.
Hope you are making plans to vote if you haven’t already.