Moral Values That Bring Happiness
WHAT would a child do if left in front of a table stacked with wholesome food and with candy? If no one guided him, he would likely choose to eat what he liked best—probably candy—until he got sick.
Morally speaking, man is confronted with choices. What does he want most? A happy family life and a secure future or, regardless of the consequences, a day-to-day life centered around pleasure? Whatever he chooses, his choice will shape his life and affect his future—for good or for bad.
The fruitage of the sexual revolution and unrestrained freedom has not been good. People who acted as they wished have met with a host of unwanted problems: broken homes, unwanted pregnancies, death from AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, damaged lives from drug abuse, and other undesirable consequences. These bad results fit the description noted in the Bible at Proverbs 16:25: “There exists a way that is upright before a man, but the ways of death are the end of it afterward.”—See also Galatians 5:19-21.
Rampant selfishness and freedom without responsibility also fit the description of our time found at 2 Timothy 3:1-4: “In the last days critical times hard to deal with will be here. For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, self-assuming, haughty, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, disloyal, having no natural affection, not open to any agreement, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, without love of goodness, betrayers, headstrong, puffed up with pride, lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God.”
The Foundation for the Best Morals
All of this shows the need for a source of values superior to man’s so that we can walk wisely in these critical times. Jeremiah, one of the Bible writers, acknowledged this when he said: “I well know, O Jehovah, that to earthling man his way does not belong.”—Jeremiah 10:23.
But who can lay the foundation for the best moral values? In his book Cours de philosophie, French professor Armand Cuvillier explains that he, like most philosophers, has taken “the human person as the fundamental value.” Yet, he reminds us that all moral codes based on man are fragile and liable to be replaced by others later on.
The manufacturer of a machine is often the most qualified person to make it work best. It is the same with God and man. As man’s Creator, Jehovah is in the best position to show him the values he should have, and why. In the Bible, Jehovah calls himself the One ‘teaching us to benefit ourselves, the One causing us to tread in the way in which we should walk.’—Isaiah 48:17.
Can the Bible’s moral values be applied to our time? Over 1,900 years ago, the apostle Paul gave a list of qualities required of God’s servants. He mentioned “love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, mildness, self-control.” Are these qualities less valuable today? Certainly not! While conditions have changed, these high principles are still the best ones.—Galatians 5:22, 23.
The same can be said of things the Bible forbids. For instance, why did God destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah? The disciple Jude explained that this was because their inhabitants “gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion.” Jude adds that their destruction serves as “a permanent warning.” Since this account and other similar ones have been “written for our instruction,” “for a warning to us,” the moral lessons coming from them are still valid.—Jude 7, Phillips; Romans 15:4; 1 Corinthians 10:11.
Values That Make You Happy
Keep in mind that the Bible is unique. Accept it, “not as the word of men, but, just as it truthfully is, as the word of God.” (1 Thessalonians 2:13) Of all the millions of books in the world, the Bible alone is ‘inspired of God, and it can set things straight.’ (2 Timothy 3:16) It alone can supply us the best values and show how they lead to eternal life in a new world. Surely, the course of wisdom is to examine it.
That is just what a young man named Joël did. A few years ago, he walked the streets of his native town in France with other young people—armed with weapons. He was known for his temper, and he was a drug trafficker and a pimp. Joël learned about the Bible and the hope it brings, and, in time, he changed completely, doing away with practices condemned by the Bible. Several of his former friends became convinced that he had found the truth, so they also made drastic changes in their lives and were baptized as Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Of course, most of those who become Jehovah’s Witnesses did not lead a life as far removed from Bible principles as Joël and his companions did. But all who become Witnesses agree to reconsider the values guiding their lives—even if they were not bad in themselves—and they are convinced that they have found a system of values that can make them happy.
Throughout the world, nearly four million Witnesses try to live up to these principles every day, whatever country or kind of society they live in. They also put God’s Kingdom interests first, giving priority to spiritual values in their lives. Why not accept their invitation to help you examine the benefits you too may gain from these values? “Abundant peace” is promised to all those making this choice.—Psalm 119:165; Matthew 6:33.
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People need values that go beyond human philosophies