Let Not Our Values Be Selective

People like to talk about “Family Values” or “Core Values” as if we all hold the same things to be important and, well, valuable. But we all have different values, and even those of us with the same set of values would most likely rank their order of importance differently.

But whatever our values are, the key is to stick to them, not use them as weapons when it suits our purposes and then ignore them when it’s inconvenient or uncomfortable to uphold them.

Michelle Wolf has been slammed with criticism for her vulgarities and inappropriate language at the White House Press Corps Dinner by the same people who voted for a man who made fun of a disabled reporter and has used a variety of vulgarities when speaking of women.  Either you’re offended by such language and attitudes or you’re not (because “it’s okay for the President and not for a comedian” is a real loser of an argument).  You don’t get to excuse one and go after the other.

If the #metoo movement is important to you, then you have to stand with women, even when someone you voted for or cheered for or bought movie or concert tickets because of turns out to be the offender.

If you value doing what the Bible says and wield it as a tool to eject and oppress people you have decided don’t belong (even though Jesus never ejected anyone except Satan and the money lenders), then you should be giving all your money away to the poor (Matthew 19:21), because that’s what the Bible says.

Whatever it is you believe, live like it…all the time. Ok, most of the time. Even the most fervent value-holders among us make a misstep or contradictory move from time to time. (That’s where grace comes in.)

It is true that our values grow and change as we do. As a 20-something, I remember thinking that people who prayed or gave thanks for good health just didn’t know what else to say in a prayer. At 40-something, I know differently.  These kinds of changes grow out of experience and are made with intention, not out of a desire to lash out or avoid a complicated situation.

We all have different things that are important to us, but whatever your values are, stick to them. Don’t sit down for things that are worth standing up for because it goes against party lines, religious doctrine or popular opinion.  When it comes to living what we say we believe, may we all be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord. 1 Corinthians 15:58





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