How do you define a “moral compass?”
I mean sure, you can look up the defnition:
anything which serves to guide a person’s decisions based on morals or virtues
What the hell does “anything which serves to guide” mean, exactly?
Is that anything whatever mood you’re in when you make the “moral” decision? Does anything depend on the situation? The day of the week? How much wine you had beforehand? On whether or not it “feels” good?
Seriously. I’ve never understood people who do not believe in … something … anything … to know when to draw the line when it comes to right and wrong.
I am a Christian. And the Bible is my compass. I try (and fail) to live by God’s commandments because I believe in a higher entity, one who is all-knowing, wise, loving and kind. The Bible lays out for me how I should aspire to live my life. It outlines what is right or wrong in the eyes of the almighty. It is a script for my life.
If one is not a Christian, what “code” does one live by? Where does one draw the line with … anything and everything. What makes something wrong in the eyes of someone who doesn’t have a moral compass?
For kicks, I Googled moral compass and ran across an interesting article …
Problem. Where it really matters – our lives and most significant relationships – we have more than lost our moral compass. It has been trashed by humanism and driven over by hedonism. We have become our own authorities – our own True North. We do what’s right for us – not what is right. We do what gives us the greatest pleasure regardless of the consequences to others.
This “compass-less” behavior is often defended as situational ethics. People are called upon to reason what would be the best thing to do under certain circumstances. Yet – from what I see, it’s a very flexible, self-motivated “situational ethics”, where people are virtually saying, “In the right situation, I will lose my ethics.” Sad. And yes, the relational chaos is enormous.
Let’s look at what we have lost.
We have lost our sense of right and wrong. Decisions are based on what works for me – on convenience and on compromise not timeless truth. Ultimate standards are replaced by our own ethics. We bend the rules to suit our needs. We become a law unto ourselves. We reason that it’s okay as long as no one finds out.
We have lost our personal integrity. That characteristic is when a person is quality to the core. You can trust this guy. Without integrity in business dealings, rather than God-honoring principles being lived out, people are cut throat, lying and breaking contracts. They will say whatever it takes to get a sale. Pragmatism – whatever works – wins out over principle. A person’s word means almost nothing now.
We have lost our ability to empathize. Our self-centered orientation trumps the perspective of others. We have grown callous. We have quit asking how our choices are going to affect someone else. We no longer ‘do unto others as we would have them do unto us’ (Matthew 7:12).
We have lost our conviction of commitment. Breaking contracts in business is common. Giving up on a marriage without work is the new norm. If it’s not working – push the ‘eject button’. We take the easy path not the right path. We don’t follow through on our commitments if they don’t make us happy. I am done if there’s discomfort, work or it might cost me something.
We have lost our absolute standard of truth. People aren’t reading and studying the Scriptures like they used to. I have seen the changes over three family cycles. Previous generations wore out their Bibles, memorized verses more, attended weekly study groups and generally cared about what God said. Remember the mid- 70’s saying – “God said it. I believe it. That settles it.” You likely don’t but that’s how people felt.
And lastly, this article ends with a manifesto, of sorts. A reminder to live a full, giving, generous, honorable life. And guess what, you don’t have to be a Christian to live by this moral compass. It’s possible.
Shocking, I know.
We are Christians…
We have a moral compass – an inner conviction to do what is right.
We believe that knowing Jesus must make a difference.
We believe our lives must honor God.
Therefore, we seek to live what we believe.
We keep promises.
We lend a hand.
We tell the truth.
We respect people’s stuff.
We honor our commitments.
We do our best.
We finish the job.
We don’t take what doesn’t belong to us.
We’ve quit exaggerating.
We put people first.
We admit we’re wrong.
We say we’re sorry when we blow it.
We put things back.
We treat people with respect.
We value family.
We clean up our mess.
We don’t cut corners – we do it right.
We own our mistakes.
We don’t make excuses.
We don’t shift the blame.
We love long.
We earn people’s trust and then work to keep it.
We won’t lie to those we love – or to anybody else.
We keep our word even if it costs us.
We are faithful to our vows.
And…if we don’t have anything nice to say, we don’t say anything at all.
We live today as if God were our judge – we believe He is.
You see, we are Christians – and we have a moral compass. His compass.
We live what we believe and follow one who died for what He believed.
Do you have a moral compass? Is it based on a concrete reference? Something you can refer to from time-to-time? Or is it based on your feelings … common sense and logical thought be damned?
Think about it …