In 1050, the Chinese started using a primitive compass to aid in navigation. Sure, Leif Erickson may have used ravens for navigation, but it was haphazard and required a lot of birdseed. But the compass revolutionized man's exploration of the globe.
Now, here's the funny thing: the compass, which operates on the magnetic field of the earth (one end of a magnetized needle always pointing north), didn't invent the magnetic fields, it just revealed them.
Spiritual or ethical VALUES are like that. We don't invent them; we discover them. Universally-speaking, we know that to steal not only brings displeasure, but it might incur wrathful violence. God gave us his Ten Commandments. This is the basic set of precepts that bring HIM pleasure and glory. But God gives us some latitude - and we are wise to seek His wisdom - on principles based on those precepts but not explicitly stated as such. For example, one of my principles or values is that I have is to seek to romance my wife. There is no command for that. But, the Bible gives commands about loving my wife, to honor and devote myself to her, as well as to wisely using my time. By collating those Scriptures, I develop a principle of blessing her. Do I do it perfectly? Of course not. But just because a value isn't hard doesn't mean it shouldn't be pursued. And my wife loves to be pursued. And one thing I have seen: EVERY TIME I romance or pursue my wife, we both win!
How about you? What are your top ten values that you regularly review and jealously guard? What is "normal" about culture is that we only value that which is quick and gives immediate gratification. What is "weird" is to live a life based on eternal precepts and formulating wise principles.
Most of us use the excuse: "I just don't know enough of the Bible." Fine. When will you start reading and studying to find out? It's actually not hard. And if you read a good book by a Christian author, they've done a lot of the work for you!
And actually, if you just stick around Grace, taking notes and seeking enriching fellowship to buttress what you learn, it won't take long at all to develop a list of values.
The funny thing is: you are already living out your top ten values - you have simply never enumerated them or perhaps weighed their real value. But you practice them everyday - and you guard them jealously. You didn't know that? Just look at how you spend your time, your mental/emotional focus and money, and then you can make your list. Are you happy with them?
Here's a better question: is God happy with them?
Want more help navigating your life? Talk to one of the pastors at Grace. It would be our honor to help you relaunch your life and sail with confidence and real pleasure.