“The good influence of godly citizens causes a city to prosper, but the moral decay of the wicked drives it downhill.” Proverbs 11:11

By John E. Schrock, Businessman

Underline the key concepts found in this principle.

Morality: What is it? Webster defines it as principles, standards, or habits with respect to right or wrong conduct. The Proverb relates it to godliness, meaning God-designed standards. It should be understood that God created man and beast with a purpose in mind. Each species was created after its kind, which means that each one was created with some fixed attributes. Man, however, was given a special gift - the gift of reasoning. No animal can reason itself out of its created intent. A robin cannot decide its values or redesign its lifestyle. It functions according to its code and design. Likewise, man was created after his kind. However, he has two codes to live by - a conscience (a sense of right and wrong for his kind) and commandments.

We know by nature that it is wrong to kill, steal or destroy that which belongs to others - that is conscience. That’s why people do bad things in the dark or when no one is watching.

Since man was given the gift of reason, he also needs commandments. These commandments become codes for proper functioning (moral codes). We need them because with our gift of reasoning we can reason ourselves away from our created conscience.

Many rights and wrongs must be taught - these are the commandments. But some rights and wrongs are part of our created human nature - this is our conscience. When we harden our hearts and sear our God-given conscience, we become selfish, greedy and self-willed. This leads us away from our natural morals. Our conscience is not a true guide, unless it is governed by the commandments.

God made man and beast as male and female for reproductive purposes. It is only the human that practices homosexuality. Only humans become addicted to drugs and alcohol and plan abortions. It may be legal or politically correct, but these things are still morally wrong. A business deal may be legal but still violate moral principles. Morality deals with justice for both parties, and is under a code of right and wrong given by the Designer. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" is not a suggestion but rather it is a functional principle.

There are three ways to check your conscience:

1. Do you have a problem looking certain people in the eye or being transparent?

2. Are you afraid to openly discuss certain issues?

3. Do you feel uncomfortable talking about God or what is right?

We are responsible before God and mankind to follow a moral code of ethics based upon truth from God and creation. The commandments were given as the guideline for human behavior. They teach respect for God and our fellow man. If we love God and our neighbors as ourselves, we will act morally correct. These laws and principles were not given just so we can please God, but they were designed and given with us in mind. We are the beneficiaries. We will do ourselves a favor by living and structuring ourselves and our societies upon them. Our forefathers understood this. That’s why our constitution and system of laws are structured around God’s commandments. It was to create a moral society.

Most moral values are plain common sense. Just because we have been given the ability to reason and choose does not license us to break the moral standards for which we were created. Morality is simply a rule of conduct that is right - right for you and right for me, according to the Designer. We might need to ask the man in the mirror if he knows what is right.

This principle is part of the one year character development program: Foundations For Achievement.

Thoughts to Ponder:
When Wealth is lost Nothing is lost. When Health is lost Something is lost. When Character is lost All is lost..