Each of us has our own set of values. These are what determine which aspects of life we regard as important or beneficial. Our values help determine our tastes, our way of life, our entertainment, our social, political and religious interactions. Each of us holds many values and these values are liable to change as we grow, reach different stages of life or have different experiences or influences in life. Some of the values we hold may be 'superficial', transitory or fitting solely the moment in which we find ourselves. Other values are more fixed and may stay with us through our life; these are our 'core values'.
Our values come from a range of sources. Our parents are a key influence upon our values as we grow as children. So, too, is any church or religious background we experience . . . Continue reading: "Personal Core Values." Value Beyond Reckoning In this mass communications economy, it is easy for our values to get messed up. We're bombarded daily by programming and advertising messages that boggle the mind with their portrayal of extravagant lifestyles. A typical half hour block of television programming contains eight minutes of advertising and as many as 16 commercials. By the time you arrive at church on Sunday, you will have been exposed to 29 times more advertising messages than the message you'll hear from the pulpit in a 15-minute sermon.
Furniture stores promote sales with "Nothing Down, No Interest Due"; car dealers promise "Zero Percent Interest for 60 months"; clothing stores feature "Designer Labels at up to 80% off"; and homebuilders boast about granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. What's not to like? Plenty.
The larger-than-life scenes that flash across our flat screen TVs glorify a hedonistic lifestyle that equates a person's value with his or her valuables. But the value of anything is determined by what someone else is willing to pay for it. And, since the Lord Himself paid the ultimate price for us, our value is beyond reckoning in human terms.
"As ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise." (Luke 6:31)
Rule of Thumb
"Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value." (Albert Einstein)
Great Riches Aren't All That Valuable Bob Larranaga Consider, for a moment, what three of the world’s wealthiest men had to say about their great riches:
• “I am the most miserable man on earth.” (John Jacob Astor)
• “I was happier when doing a mechanic’s job.” (Henry Ford)
• “I have made many millions, but they have brought me no happiness.” (John D. Rockefeller)
It might seem easy to dismiss the comments of those millionaires as utter nonsense, but before you do consider this: the average American today enjoys a better lifestyle than all three of those tycoons of the past. Even now, at the depths of the Great Recession, we enjoy the highest standard of living in the world. Despite, whatever losses you may have incurred, you are still counted among the most affluent people on earth.
Tough times pose a special threat to our spiritual well-being. With financial losses looming large in our minds, we're tempted to become bitter and angry at God.
No one knows how long this recession will last, but the sooner we start focusing on our blessings the faster we’ll recover emotionally and spiritually. For starters, we can thank God that we live in a democracy where we are free to earn a living as we see fit and worship and praise Him for such other blessings as:
Pure, hot and cold running water and indoor plumbing
An abundant supply of fresh, wholesome foods from throughout the world
Access to health care
Free public schools
A roof overhead
Automobiles and public transportation, air conditioning, microwave ovens, television, computers and cell phones . . . the list goes on and on.
And, perhaps the biggest blessing at a time like this, a social safety net
provided by our government and church.
I’m sure you can think of many other blessings and answers to prayer.
But why stop at thanking God for what He has already done? Do as Venerable Solanus Casey did and, ‘Thank God ahead of time for what He is about to do for you.’ Then share your blessings with others as a good steward would do.
Read other Recent Posts on stewardship and add your comments.
What Do You Value Most In Other People? Take this quick online poll and see how your answers compare with those of other people.