We as Christians do share a lot of values that the world does.
I found two good web definitions for the word ETHICS.
• ethical motive: motivation based on ideas of right and wrong
• the philosophical study of moral values and rules
What motivates a person to have ethics and what maintains them even in the worst case scenario?
“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and foremost commandment. The second is just like it, You shall love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments depend the whole law and the prophets.”
It was just this morning that I prayed that in the heat of the moment I would do the will of God and love, even at gun point. Under the most brutal circumstances we as Christians have an obligation to lay down our own lives and our own desires and follow the commandment of love.
Put yourself in that scenario. How do you imagine yourself handling it? Whether it be at work compromising your beliefs or dealing with your lifelong friends who are about to take part in questionable activity for a friends bachelor party. As cheesy as it sounds but I must quote it, “What would Jesus do?”
Psalm 101 is an excellent view of integrity when it comes to his personal ethics which he has obtained through belief in God Almighty. To anyone who is reading this essay, write this Psalm out and memorize it. Make it your prayer.
I will walk within my house in the integrity of my heart. I will set no worthless thing before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; It shall not fasten its grip on me. A perverse heart shall depart from me; I will know no evil.
This Psalmist is saying that even behind closed doors he will keep in mind his values and the fact God is watching him. It is easy to behave yourself when people are watching, but when do you “let your gut hang out?” I am a truck driver. I spend a lot of time alone in a workspace driving around the city I live in driving a really big truck doing deliveries in tight places. Sometimes I get cut off by a car and they hit their brakes and I will vent and have sworn, and for that moment in my heart I let their actions (which by no means depict their overall character) control my emotions and how I view them as a person.
I would like to turn the attention of this essay over to the book of Colossians.
What happens when we lose connection with Christ is we are left to our own devices and ideas.
We come up with strange doctrines and ceremonies which are us trying to make physical manifestations of God when he has all along made Himself known by His word through His Son.
Col 2:23 as being “self made religion; self abasement; severe treatment of the body.”
We are holding others to our un-godly standards of “Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!” (Col 2:21)
Now according to Colossians 2:16 “No one is to act as our judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day.”
I realise I have failed to summarize what I learned entirely throughout the Christian Ethics course but I lack the ability to do so in a short essay. All I can do as a fellow pilgrim tripping over his own feet at time, and I often catch myself sinning against God and man who was made in His likeness I can say who the source of our ethics is and the best advice I can give as a fellow Christian is feed upon the word of God.
Remember that whatever good we do does not from any effort on our part but Christ living in us. If you try to live the Christian life you will become so tired and frustrated that you will give up and be of no use to anyone, but rather be heavenly minded, constantly submitting your thoughts and your time to God. Open your heart daily to God through prayer.
The way we behave is an outward sign of God working in us to the rest of the world. If we participate in the crude joking at work and if we are a part of the gossip; or whatever type of unethical behavior that the world is known by we will not be the light God has called us to be. Some religions are known by the way they dress or do their hair. How about we as Christians are known by our love and devotion to Christ!?
Colin Burgess (firstname.lastname@example.org)