Three days ago, the small tan clump in the foreground looked like the abundant and green tower of pampas grass in the background. Then two days ago, it got shaved to a significantly smaller “stump.” But by yesterday, it had begun to grow again. Look carefully, six inch pale green shoots demonstrate the relentlessness of life. I hope the generous application of Round Up will kill the roots, but several doses might be required. Why? Life persistently holds on and typically doesn’t give up easily.
I suspect God intentionally imbedded that drive in life, perhaps as an aspect of his eternal nature that we yearn to share. Even plants have that. Why? I suspect it flows from the innate value of life. All forms of life have value, with human having the most. Regardless of our gender, our race, our nationality, our sinfulness—we all have the same value.
Obviously, this post has some political applications to the ferment of our changing cultural values, like gay marriage, but let’s look at a deeper underlying principle. One that should drive all our positions and our search for a deeper connection with God.
Jesus gave that concept, “I came so they might have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of” (John 10:10, The Message version). As designer, God best knows how we best live. Yes, he allows us to go in different directions. That’s the essence of our ability to choose. We can choose ways of life that yield less than an abundant life. God allows that. But those choices bring negative consequences.
So, does our society have the ability to choose gay marriage, or other changes in traditional morality? Yes. Are those choices beneficial, and how can we tell?
Rather than decisions based on our preferences and evolution, let’s run them through the grid of what does the designer describe as optimal life? Clearly, if you don’t accept the possibility of a creator, this makes little sense. But if you do, then it must be the logical starting point. We need to craft our individual and societal values on the foundation of holding as closely to God’s standards as we can. Or, we lose. Individually and societally.
My take on politics and gay marriage? My greatest concern is not the value you end up with, but how you get there. What standards you use to determine right and wrong. Your preference? Society’s current beliefs? The designer’s pattern?
The principle I recommend—let’s craft our values and lives to align with life as God recommends. That alone maximizes the value and relentlessness of life.
Kick Starting the Application
Think about your source of values. Where do you get them? What role does God play in the process? How do you balance God’s values and those of the culture? Why? Are you willing to stand strong against society to stay firm with God’s values?
PS Dr. David Timms and I wrote a book, Just Leave God Out of It, where we examined how followers of Jesus often craft our values more from society and preference than God. I have some copies, just contact me if you’re interested.