Топики по Английскому — страница 6

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have to be a Christian to have ‘values’. Everyone has a primary source from which they draw to make decisions and it is often their values. The important thing is how or where you obtained your values. Are they yours or did someone else just pass them down to you. I have values, but the values I hold in my heart are not merely of tradition passed down to me, but spring from a diligent study of the Bible, which again comes from my love of the Father (which by-the-way, exists because of His great love for me). So, in this light, for me as a Christian or a non-Christian, values provide the very motivation for decision-making in the first place. I therefore decide to make decisions for myself because I want my life to adhere to the values that encompass my heart. I want to live

my life constantly aware of the presence of God, and therefore, train my thoughts to become value-focused, and since the values in my heart are an extension of the Father, then I ought always to ask myself “What have I done that is as God wills and what have I left undone of that which He does not will?”. Another word that has a similar connotation as the values that I am discussing is virtues. Virtues are ideal character traits that people should incorporate into their lives such as: honesty, loyalty, respect, etc. For myself, this also is primarily obtained from my study of the Bible. I need to address the fact that in growing up in a family that held strongly to the values or virtues it was taught by their parents, that it is, in fact, nearly impossible not to be

influenced by these things that were taught in the family, whether they were bad or good, and say that all values and virtues are entirely my own and have originated within me. That just is not valid, because a person does hold on to some of the things that were taught no matter how he or she feels about it, but if the virtues can stand next to God then there is no reason why a person shouldn’t keep in his heart that which was taught to him merely for the sake of “coming up with your own values’. The important thing is not ‘coming up with your own’ values/virtues, etc., it is the weeding out, picking and choosing, those values and virtues you will keep for your own life, accepting some and discarding others, all in an effort to make them your own, and weighing all

against the ultimate source, the Bible. How does a person do this? Good question. First, you must ask yourself many questions, two of which I found to be the most important in my own opinion: 1) What does the scripture obviously teach about the subject? What does it blatantly come right out and say? 2) What does the Bible suggest about the subject? Through stories and examples of Jesus and the disciples, etc., what can you correctly decipher? (Correctly is the key word here). Once you have answered these two questions there are others you may want to ask yourself to get more specific. Generally, questions about yourself would be good, such as: 1) Does it violate my conscience? Because of your belief in God you seek to have your conscience framed by Him. (Obviously the conscience

question is no good if you have not been careful how your conscience was formed or if your conscience has been ‘seared’.) 2) Is there an obvious primary duty, and if so, what is it? 3) How will it affect mothers? There are many more good questions, it is just a matter of finding out what is important to you and checking your actions to make sure that they coincide with these things. For example, if Jesus is an important figure in your life, ask yourself, ‘What would Jesus do?’. So, as a result of all this, what are the virtues/values I have adopted? The first is love of God, which I already discussed. It is the first and greatest commandment given in the Bible and therefore is my first and greatest virtue. The next is love or compassion, and devotion to others. Why?

Because God gave us the commandment to love our neighbor as ourselves as the second greatest commandment and as a foundation in order to win others. This love for others is the place we have to begin if we are to be true Christians because all commandments of Christ depend on this one. Not only are we commanded to love others, but we are given the example of Christ in the New Testament, who healed and fed and offered living water to those who were "thirsty". He was/is the greatest example of love for others that there is because He died, having never met us, for us while we were so sinful. If He is to be our example, then, literally, we are to do what He does. If we have a genuine love for others, then all decisions will take into account, and be sincerely responsive