By: Robert A. Schuller
and I are going through a series of messages entitled
"Donˇ¦t throw Away Tomorrow: Living Godˇ¦s
dream for your life." We have been going through
different topics involved with how to hold on to your
tomorrows. Today, I want to talk about synchronizing our
goals and dreams with our values and morals.
How do we
actually synchronize our goals with our morals and our
values and our ethics. It is an important part of reaching
and accomplishing the tasks that God has for our lives.
The first thing we have to remember is that the ends do
not justify the means. It's very important for us to remember
this. When we look at evil in our world today, how is
it justified? The human being has an immeasurable capacity
to be able to justify almost any behavior. We look at
the evil that we see in terrorism around the world today
and they justify it by the ends. They say they are doing
this because God wants them to accomplish this. The ends
do not justify the means.
provided 30 years of humanitarian effort and work in Iraq.
She didn't have to live there. She had a U.K. passport
and could have lived in England. However, she decided
to dedicate her life to the Iraqi people and for 30 years
she did humanitarian work as the Director of Care International.
In October 2004 in Iraq she was kidnapped and killed.
What's the rational? Those who kidnapped and killed Margaret
Hassan would say the end justifies the means is the rational.
Therein is the problem. As we continue to climb the ladder
and strive for the goals that God has for our life, we
must be very careful we do not climb on people but we
carry people with us. In the process of carrying our brothers
and our sisters we lift everyone and everyone is exalted
and feels the presence of God as opposed to being stepped
on and taken advantage of. The ends do not justify the
I was talking
with someone recently about the topic of evil and this
person referred to the recent tsunami as an evil event.
I interrupted him and told him the tsunami was not an
evil event. It was a horrible tragic event but it was
not an evil event. It was a natural event. A tsunami is
a natural event. Hurricanes are natural. Tornados are
natural. Death is natural. There isn't a human being who
has ever been born, with the exception of Jesus Christ,
who will not experience death. Death is a natural thing.
There is nothing we can do can do to avoid it. It is not
an evil thing. The tsunami was not an evil event. Evil
takes place in the hands of people who have lost the understanding
of the premise of morality and the premise of ethics and
values and have rationalized beyond human comprehension
to do evil things. The ends do not justify the means.
How do we
synchronize our goals with our morals? We need a North
Star to fix our eyes upon. My North Star is a book called
the Bible. This book gives me a course and a direction
so that as things change in life, I donˇ¦t lose my
way because we are in a very transitory, very fast moving,
changing society. Let me explain how things have changed.
College freshmen today were born in 1986. Anyone born
after 1986 to the present time have the following conditions:
this actually represents about 20% of the population.
So 20% of the population or more have the following in
- They are too young to remember the first space
- Their lifetime has always included AIDS.
- Bottle caps have always been twisted off and plastic.
- The CD was introduced the year they were born.
- They have always had an answering machine.
- They have always had cable.
- They have always used a remote control to operate
- Popcorn has always been cooked in the microwave.
- They can't imagine what hard contact lenses are.
- They don't know who Mork was or where he was from.
- The most shocking one to me, they don't have a clue
how to use a typewriter or what one is.
I know it
makes you feel a little older, but you know life goes
on, and on, and on. As life goes on, it changes. As it
changes we need to have clear cut directions as to what
our moral values are in life. That is why the Bible tells
us that God spoke and when He spoke He literally audibly
spoke so that every single Israelite could hear His voice.
It was extremely terrifying. There were millions of people
who heard Him say these words. Here are the ones youˇ¦re
most familiar with.
- You shall not murder.
- You shall not commit adultery.
- You shall not steal.
- You shall not give false testimony against your
- You shall not covet your neighbor's house and all
of his possessions.
And the ones
that are most important, the ones He shared with us first
and those we need more than anything else are:
- You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall
not make for yourself an idol.
- You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your
- Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
- Honor your father and your mother.
The Ten Commandments.
When we keep these as our North Star, as our guiding light
and our foundation, society can progress, and things can
change, but we won't lose direction and get out of synch
with our goals and our morals. When you get out of synch
you just simply get lost and who knows what will happen
I went to Palm Springs for a wedding. When I was in Palm
Springs it was raining. It's the first time I've ever
been in Palm Springs in the rain. As a result of that,
I couldn't see the mountains. I was trying to find my
way around and I got completely lost. I made a huge circle
and I didn't know where I was until finally I came back
to where I started. I didn't have the ridge of mountains
to give me my bearings. There are times in life when we
think we are making progress, we think life is going our
way, but if we are not following the commandments that
God has given to us and we are living outside of His law,
all we are doing is going in circles.
How do we
synch our goals with our morals? The end does not justify
the means. We keep our eyes fixed on the North Star. Then
you are probably thinking, "well what about the gray
areas?" You know, the gray areas are an interesting
thing. We discover that there are words from Jesus that
help us come to the realization of how to deal with those
areas in life which the Bible does not talk about. There
are lots of gray areas morally and ethically and spiritually.
How do we deal with those things? Here are the words of
Jesus when He was asked "of all the commandments,
which is the most important?" Jesus answered:
"The most important one is this,
Hear, oh 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 of your mind
and with all your strength.
And the second is this, love your neighbor as yourself.
There is no commandment greater than these."
Mark 12: 28-31
When we apply
these principles to the gray areas of life we discover
the realization of actions applied to our goals and our
values become crystal clear and we experience the joy
of what happens in daily living.
ethics in seminary which was taught by a professor named
Dr. Lewis Smedes who is known as probably one of the foremost
ethicists of the 20th century. He was a fabulous
man, who unfortunately passed away a few years ago. When
we were in class we would debate various situations discussing
what made it moral, what made it ethical? How do we resolve
the conflicts? In the process, we would always come around
to love. If our hearts are full of the love of Christ,
you will do the right thing. How do we synch our goals
with our morals? We live with love.
hate to be the bearer of bad news, but no matter how hard
you try you won't do a perfect job. It won't happen. You
will fail. It is inevitable. No one is perfect. We have
all fallen short of the glory of God and have failed.
When you fail, you simply come to God and you ask for
forgiveness and God in His love and His mercy will forgive
you and that's the beautiful thing about the gospel of
Jesus Christ and the message we have today.
How do we
synch our goals with our needs?
- We understand that the
ends do not justify the means.
- We need a North Star to
fix our eyes on (The Bible).
- When we fail we come to
God and we seek forgiveness.
gave us these words: "Joy is not the same as pleasure
or happiness. A wicked and evil man may have pleasure
while an ordinary mortal is capable of being happy. Pleasure
generally comes from things and always through the senses.
Happiness comes from humans through fellowship. Joy comes
from loving God and neighbor. Pleasure is quick and violent
and like a flash of lightening. Joy is steady and abiding
like a fixed star. Pleasure depends on external circumstances
such as money, food, travel, etc. Joy is independent of
them for it comes from a good conscience and love of God."
It is time
for us to synch our goals, our values and our morals.
Let us pray: Dear Heavenly Father we thank You for being
here and sending Your love. As we come to You and we fall
on our knees and ask for forgiveness, we know that You
will forgive. You are a God who loves, who cares, who
wants to forgive. So we ask for Your guidance today. We
ask for Your touch. We ask for Your leadership and in
all things and in all ways, we say thank You Lord. Amen.