A value or ethic is a principle or standard about what is important in one’s life. Therefore, Christian values are the principles that a follower of Jesus Christ holds as necessary, the principles of life that Jesus taught.
Christian values don’t change over time. They are consistent from generation to generation since their foundation is found in God’s Word, the Bible.
Worldly values include wealth, power, pleasure, revenge, fame, vanity, and status. These are the most important things to people who perceive no power or purpose beyond themselves
Worldly values promote jealousies, resentments, and conflicts among people following the objectives of Satan.
The Christian values taught in the Bible are often the opposite of worldly values: kindness and respect for all people instead of power; humility instead of status; honesty and generosity instead of wealth; self-control instead of self-indulgence; forgiveness instead of revenge.
Christian values promote peace and goodwill among people following the purposes of God. We will never achieve perfection in this life, but those who strive to obey God often find a sense of joy and peace that no worldly rewards can match. Here’s a list of Christian values emphasized in the Bible.
One day, a religious leader asked Jesus which commandments were most important. Jesus replied in Mark 12:28-30 by saying, “The most important one is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”
The Hebrews of Old Testament times tended to lapse into worship of pagan deities and statues of animals or other objects. Still, anything that takes the place of our devotion to God becomes an idol or false god.
That idolatry is forbidden by the first of the Ten Commandments. Jesus particularly singled out the love of wealth as a false god, and other Bible passages mention greed, covetousness, arrogance, gluttony, and pride as equivalent to idolatry.
In today’s world, many things compete against God for our devotion. These are some things that are not necessarily bad in moderation but can become modern-day idolatry if we let them become too important to us, like attention to material possessions, the pursuit of wealth, and excessive devotion to self.
If you need ideas on how to worship God, here are 18 ways to worship God.
Be kind to everyone.
After saying “Love the Lord your God” is the most important of the commandments, Jesus continued, “The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these,” as seen in Mark 12:31.
The English word “love” has many different meanings, but the Greek word agape, used in the New Testament, is commonly known as “Christian love.” It means respect, affection, benevolence, goodwill, and concern for the welfare of the one loved.
Jesus’ Golden Rule is, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
We should not say or do anything unless we can answer “Yes” to the question, “Would I want that said or done to me?” Neither should we fail to do the good things we would expect of others.
Humility or being humble is a quality of being courteously respectful of others. It is the opposite of aggressiveness, arrogance, boastfulness, and vanity.
Acting with humility does not in any way deny our self-worth. Instead, it affirms the inherent worth of all persons.
Humility is needed to live in peace and harmony with all persons. It dissipates anger and heals old wounds, and allows us to see the dignity and worth of all God’s people. Humility distinguishes the wise leader from the arrogant power-seeker.
Honesty and integrity are held as fundamental values throughout the Bible. Any deception to gain an advantage or harm someone else is prohibited by the Ten Commandments and other Bible passages.
Deception may be by lies, cheating, innuendo, or failing to tell the whole truth. It is all too common in advertising, business, politics, and everyday life.
We must strongly resist the temptation to engage in any form of theft, cheating, deception, innuendo, slander, or gossip.
Rationalization is a form of self-deception. We convince ourselves that sinful actions are justified to achieve a good result, but this is another form of dishonesty.
Holiness is living by the commandments, not reaching an outcome. In Biblical teaching, the ends do not justify the means.
Live a moral life.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.”
Jesus gave a list of actions that constitute immoral uses of the body: evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, arrogance, and foolishness.
The apostle Paul gave similar lists. We often think of morality in terms of sexual sins, but according to Jesus, slander, greed, covetousness, deceit, and arrogance are equally immoral.
Be generous with time and money.
The Bible tells us to share generously with those in need, and good things will come to us in turn. Each of us has something to offer to someone in need.
We can give our money and our time to charity, be a friend to someone sick or lonely, do volunteer work or choose a service-oriented occupation. We may give unselfishly of our time to our spouse, children, or parents.
This idea doesn’t mean we are obligated to share our time or money with people who are not in need but want to use or abuse us, as described in 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12.
Don’t be a hypocrite.
If there was any group of people that Jesus couldn’t stand, it was hypocrites.
The Pharisees of Jesus’ time were a religious and political party that insisted on the rigorous observance of Biblical laws on tithing, ritual purity, and other matters. At the same time, many of the Pharisees forgot the true spirit and intent of the law and became self-indulgent, self-righteous, snobbish, and greedy.
That led Jesus to tell the Pharisees that they appeared righteous on the outside, but they were full of hypocrisy.
It is not the things we say that truly matter. It is the things that we do. If we claim to be Christians but do not let Jesus’ teachings guide our lives, we are nothing but hypocrites.
Don’t be self-righteous.
No one is perfect; we are all sinners in one way.
Living a moral life means taking responsibility for controlling our behavior. If we say or even think we are better than people we consider to be sinners, we are guilty of the sin of self-righteousness.
It is not our right to look down on, criticize, judge, condemn, or try to control other people. Judgment is to be left to God.
In Matthew 7:1-5, Jesus said, “Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgment you make, you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get.”
This value does not deny the right of governments to maintain law and order and collect taxes. Jesus and other New Testament leaders supported the authority of civil governments.
Jesus said there is no place for hatred, holding a grudge, revenge, retaliation, or getting even in the life of a Christian, described in Matthew 5:38-40 and Matthew 5:43-45.
Holding grudges and seeking revenge are never appropriate responses to a perceived wrong. Resentment destroys the grudge-holder with bitterness, and revenge only escalates hostilities.
Jesus told us we must reconcile with our adversaries, forgive their transgressions, and let go of the anger that may tempt us to commit an act of revenge.
Matthew 6:14-15 tells us, “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
God is merciful and forgives our sins and failings. In the same way, we must be compassionate and forgive other people who sin against us or do us harm.
Romans 12:9-10 tells us, “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”
God is evident in His Word how to apply each of the Christian values He holds dear. Christians can tell if they hold to the values God holds dear by how they treat others.
As we read God’s Word, we know God better and understand His purpose for us in the world. We learn the values He holds dear, and we also grow to love those values. The Holy Spirit works through us to spread God’s love through good works, leading others to eternal life through Jesus Christ.