These days we hear a lot about values. We all have personal values that we live by. There are family values by which we raise our children. There are cultural values that shape our understanding of our relationships to groups of people. There are national values that define us in the context of the political world.
We probably think that our own values are naturally correct in every way or we would not have chosen to live by them. And yet we must admit that many of us change our values depending on the situation in which we find ourselves.
Can values change?
Are there any values that can stand the test of situational expediency? Do we adopt our values based on what can get us through the next crisis? Do we change our values when we have to face great personal loss?
We have to ask the question: Is there a single source of values that do not change? Are there any truly eternal values?
Is there an eternal creator?
We believe that this Eternal Source has revealed Himself to us as the creator and sustainer of all that exists. We believe He has chosen to call Himself The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. We believe that He is eternally self-revealing as Father, Son and Spirit and that the Son of the Father became flesh, lived among us, and tasted death for us in order to reconcile fallen humanity to God.
Live With Eternity’s Values in View.
These words, written by Lucy Rider Meyer (1849-1922), express ideas of enormous significance for every person alive today and those to be born in the future.
We know we are alive.
First is the recognition that we are alive, that we are aware of our own existence, that we are self-conscious and self-aware. Also contained in the concept of aliveness is the understanding that at some point we will not be alive. We see death at every turn. We see the fact of our eventual demise.
Eternity is real.
The second idea is that there is an eternity before us that is real. We know that as creatures of flesh and blood we are not eternal but very temporal. If eternity exists for us it must be experienced in another dimension. Eternity is defined as: infinite or unending time; a state to which time has no application; endless life after death. We instinctively desire to live beyond the end of our physical existence. We believe that our existence is spiritual as well as physical. There is a universal human awareness that our existence does not end when our bodies cease to function.
How we live makes a difference.
The third, and perhaps the most important idea is that there are eternal values that come form an Eternal Source that we can live by in the present and that will affect us in our experience of eternity in the future.
Are we alive for a purpose?
Do we believe in the concept of eternity as it relates to our own existence? Do we really think our universe just came into being out of nothing and exists for no purpose? Or do we see an Eternal Creator as the source of all that is, including the moral values by which we should live. Is there an eternal purpose for us that would lead us to live now with eternal values to prepare us for life beyond the five senses and beyond physical death?