Values and Beliefs
I recently read an article that suggested that rather than ask people what they believe, we should ask what they value. This seems to me to be wise advice. If we could meet people based on shared values, we would find we had much more in common than our differences. All people value certain things, which go beyond religious creeds or indeed even if one has no religious beliefs at all. Some of these are love, peace, security, family, respect.
Do we know what our core values are? Are we living out of them? What would change if we truly did so?
Would it change how we treat those of different religious beliefs? How we treat those in different countries? Those of different political persuasions? Those less fortunate? The elderly or children or women? Those who interpret the Bible differently than us?
Would it change how we treat God’s creation? How we view our consumer culture? What we buy for food or clothing or other goods? How we think about how much we “need” especially in relation to the rest of the world? Even how we view the approaching Christmas season?
Jesus summarized this with the Golden Rule in Matthew 7:12: Treat other people exactly as you would like to be treated by them—this is the essence of all true religion. (J. B. Phillips version)
Living out of these values will lead us to true justice in the world.
Contributed by Karen Oberst, Klamath Friends