“… to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8
The tone of belittling, ridiculing, and dishonesty to which we have been exposed this year finds no home in the moral values of the Christian faith. In fact, this tone is the antithesis of the principles by which a Christian is called to be in relationship. The scriptures guide us clearly in our values. There are many passages on which we could focus as we set our moral bar, but there are two that stand out to me. One is from the Old Testament, the other from the New. Both are familiar. From the book of Micah: “… what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (6:8)
And from the writing of Paul is that inspiring, guiding list of virtues: “By contrast, the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” Galatians 5:22-23
These two passages contain the criteria of the Christian life as it is to be lived out. This is where the moral bar is to be set in relating with others. This is who we are to become. For the remainder of this week, let’s think together about the values to which we are called to aspire. If we are to relate as Christians:
- We are to be loving.
- We are to be kind.
- We are to be honest.
- We are to be respectful.
- We are to be humble.
- We are about the business of reclaiming these values in a season that sometimes turns them upside down.
The book of Isaiah expresses the words of the Lord saying, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways.” (55:8) This week, as we will focus on these values, may we remember and reclaim what are ultimately God’s thoughts and ways.
Prayer: Guide us, O Lord, that your thoughts become our thoughts and your ways become our path. In Christ name. Amen.