I live in KS where the air is extremely humid in the summer, walk outside and you start sweating. So it's not unusual to find thermometers at WalMart with humidity indicators on them. My wife had stopped to look at them as a possible Father's Day gift for her Dad. So we stood there discussing the merits of a large thermometer with humidity indicator. I was not sold on the idea and then I saw it. There must have been as many as 15 thermometers on the end-cap and nearly every one displayed a different humidity level. I said, "why would we buy one of these when their quality is lacking - brand new and they all show something different!"
Now, maybe knowing the exact percentage of humidity is not a very big deal and probably would not have impacted my Father-in-laws life either positively or negatively. But there's something that just doesn't sit well with me about getting different answers to the same question. Needless to say we passed up the thermo-humidity indicators.
But as I drove home in the high-humidity afternoon today I was thinking about those indicators and I couldn't help but think how those thermometers represent so much of what we get from the world. Every time you turn around the world is telling you something different. Ask a question about whether something is right or wrong and you'll get an answer like, "well, it depends on the situation." Or, "what might be right for me might not be for you." How are we supposed to make our way through this life if we never know what the right thing to do is? We never know if what we're doing is going to get us in trouble or praised, sent to jail or hailed as a hero.
I was recently talking with a young man who appears to be trying to embrace this relativistic lifestyle. Everything is does is not judged against a standard but is measured with the floating scale of what others do or are doing. As I talked to him about my position it was apparent he was having a hard time processing what I was saying. I ended with this thought.
Your idea of what is right or wrong may change from day to day but one thing you can bet with me is that if it's wrong it's wrong. And not just because I make an arbitrary decision in the moment, but because I will go to the Bible as my source of authority. You may not agree with my decision but at least it's based on something outside myself and not just on how I 'feel' at the moment. My understanding of right and wrong doesn't waiver because it's not based on ME. If it were, I could manipulate what I saw as right and wrong based on how I was living at the moment. If I had stolen something I might excuse it because I was hungry instead of being convicted by the truth that it was wrong no matter what my reason.
When we go to the world, our friends for advice it's like looking at all those thermometers with the differing humidity levels. We may have the right sense about the temperature but what we're to do it is difficult to determine because we're getting conflicting information.
The cure for this problem is simple. Go to something outside yourself, your friends and your feelings for advice and input. To something like the Bible. It doesn't change (and hasn't for 2000 years). What was wrong while Jesus walked the earth is wrong today. Are there some cultural things we need to be aware of, sure, but when it comes to important moral and character issues the Bible is clear and the same for everyone. No matter where you come from, what you've done, how much money you have or your position the Bible applies equally to your life as it does to mine. There is no favoritism or subjectivism. Where God is concerned we're all the same. No need to wonder or guess, it's right there. Truth. Objective. Applicable. And it's always the same.