Thoughts by CARadke on
Devotions for the Man in the Mirror
by Patrick Morley

15. Jesus: Commitment to a Person Versus a Set of Values

Today we move into part three of Morley's book and turn to our relationship with Christ. Today's devotion reflects on Jesus: commitment to a person versus a set of values.

Several years ago I was watching a news report about a candidate who ran for public office. Another prominent politician was publicly announcing his support for the candidate. To express his appreciation for the endorsement, the candidate observed that the other politician stood for compromise and consensus, two "values" that they shared.

I recall being struck by the remark because neither compromise nor consensus is a value. Compromise is something that we do to values. Consensus just means that we all agree to do it. The candidate won his election, but in the following years it was found that he had "compromised" his compliance with laws. He was removed from office and sent to prison. The other politician was caught up in one sex scandal after another. The "values" that they shared did little to help them steer the right course.

In today's devotion, Morley points out that the Christian life is not merely committing to a set of values. If we ever get confused about it, just think about the values that led the politicians astray. Value systems concocted by the human mind doom us to fail, especially when we realize that we tend to treat things like compromise and consensus as a positive values in and of themselves.

Instead of commitment to a set of values, Christianity is surrender to a specific person. It is surrender to Jesus Christ. Trying to adopt Christ's values without surrendering to Christ cannot work. Values did not create Christ. Christ created values. We have to keep straight on this point. In the Christian walk, we have a relationship with God. That relationship will be reflected in values, but the values are only a reflection. Values are not the relationship.

May we all know God through a deep, personal relationship with Christ. A relationship that begins with surrender.

Dear Lord, I surrender. The values that I rationalize and adopt in my mind are a poor substitute for a real relationship with you. I desire the relationship with you that you desire with me. I surrender my life to you. Now it is not my life, but your life. I surrender my values to you. I have no values but yours. The kingdom is yours. The power is yours. The glory is yours. Amen.

Grace and peace--

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