Why Morals and Values are Important–Part 6 by Vicki Hinze

Vicki Hinze, Morals and Values, Christians Read

Why Values and Morals are Important

Part 6

By 

Vicki Hinze

 


NOTE: This is Part 6 of a 6-part series of posts. If you haven’t yet read Part 1, 2, 3, 4 or Part 5, you can read them now: Part 1   Part 2 Part 3    Part 4    Part 5

Vicki Hinze, Morals and Values, Christians Read

In this series, first we talked about why we need morals and values. We learned they’re important to us and others for our whole lives. We talked about how we treat ourselves and others so they know we appreciate them and they are important to us. We talked about what happens when we hurt others, about responsibility, and about respect. We also talked about patience, kindness and loyalty, and why they matter so much. Then we discussed courage, discipline and civility.

All of those things make a big difference in our lives and in the lives of those around us. When we think about them, then act in a way that respects them, we have a better quality of life. That means our life is grounded in principles or standards, and because it is, we have tools inside us to cope best with things that happen to us and around us.

Other things make a big difference in our quality of life, too. How? They impact the kind of lives we live and the way our lives affect us and other people’s lives. Today, let’s look at those things. Let’s look at justice, judgment and—the very important—forgiveness.

 

 

JUSTICEWhat exactly is justice? It’s being fair. It’s looking at the facts and seeing them clearly, without leaning one way or the other on what those facts mean until we have all the facts.

Let’s say you have a skateboard. And it goes missing. Now you saved your allowance all winter for that skateboard and you finally saved enough to buy it. It’s yours. You’ve dreamed of riding it all summer. But now someone has taken it and you want it back.

Justice is finding out who took your board and getting it back. It’s the return of your skateboard to you, and holding accountable whoever took it for taking it. For that, you need to know the facts.

Your skateboard is gone. That is a fact. Now, let’s say someone who lives down the street shows up riding your skateboard. Right away, you think that person must have taken it. But that’s not yet fact because you don’t know it to be the truth. So you talk to that person. If he or she admits taking your skateboard and gives it back, you’ve gotten justice.

But what if the person riding your board says another person offered to let him ride it. The board belongs to him instead? Justice is finding out the truth. So you talk to the rider and to the person he claims owns the board. Let’s say that person admits he took your board and gives it back. That’s justice.

Now what if that person says he bought the board from yet another person who lives two streets over. The facts lead you, the rider, and the person he thought was the owner with the job of talking to the person who lives two streets away. You see, we don’t just need a fact. We need all the facts before we really know what happened, and we claim justice.

That means, we must exercise judgment.

JUDGMENTJudgment is when we look at what is said and done and we decide what we think about it all. We decide whether or not someone is being honest with us, whether or not what they’re saying or doing makes sense, and whether or not it is right or wrong.

We all make make mistakes. It’s part of growing. That makes judgment a very important tool for us. It guides us through our lives. Helps us to stay out of trouble and to decide for ourselves what we should or should not do.

Let’s say you are very young and your parents have told you not to cross the street. You can play in your own yard, but you can’t go across the street to play in your best friend’s yard unless a grownup crosses the street with you.

Your best friend sees you outside and yells across the street for you to come and play. There are no grownups around. You look both ways on the street, and you don’t see any cars coming. Do you go across the street to play with your friend? Or do you follow your parents’ rule even though they aren’t right there watching you?

The decision you make is you exercising your judgment. If you stay in your own yard or cross the street to your friend’s yard, you are making a judgment. That means you’re also going to be responsible for the judgment you make.

If you yell back to your friend that you can’t come right now because you can’t cross the street, you’re using good judgment. You’re following your parents’ rules, which they made rules to keep you safe.

If you cross the street and go to your friend’s yard to play anyway, you’re using bad judgment. You know the rule about crossing the street and you’re breaking it on purpose.

Breaking the rule on purpose is not the same as making a mistake. A mistake is when you try to do the right thing and later learn it wasn’t the right thing. But in this case, you knew what you were doing was wrong when you did it, and that makes it bad or poor judgment.

We all use poor judgment sometimes, and when we do, we suffer the consequences. That means, if we do something wrong we know is wrong, then we’re punished for it. Maybe we can’t play in the yard for a week. We’re in time-out or on restriction, which isn’t done to make us suffer but is done to make us think and to, next time, make wiser choices. So we don’t get hurt.

Mistakes—things we do we believe are right but turn out not to be—have consequences, too. We regret them. We’re sorry for them. We wish we hadn’t done them. We learn from mistakes, and one of the big things we learn is to try not to do the things we can’t undo.

If you cross the street knowing it’s wrong and get hit by a car that breaks your legs, you can’t un-break them. The consequences are you’ll be wearing casts on your legs while your legs heal. That means you won’t be riding your skateboard or swimming or doing other fun things because you used poor judgment. So your life is harder than it had to be as a result of your actions. If you had used good judgment, you wouldn’t have been in the street, right?

Whether we deliberately do something we know is wrong or make a mistake, we need to be aware that we aren’t the only people impacted. What we say and do affects other people, too. And what we say or do affects others in a good way or a bad way. When it’s good, that’s a blessing. But when it’s not, it hurts, and… well, then we discover the importance of forgiveness.

FORGIVENESSWe all mess up and say or do things that hurt us and hurt others. When we do, we should admit it, and seek forgiveness.

Saying I’m sorry to another person might be hard, but if we know we’re wrong, we should be smart enough and strong enough to admit it. We should do our best to fix any problems we created, and to ask the person we hurt to forgive us.

That’s important because it shows the other person we’re aware that what we said or did hurt them and we are sorry. None of us want to be hurt, or to hurt others. We know how hurting feels, and we don’t like it. Neither does anyone else.

So when someone does something to us and asks for our forgiveness, we should forgive them. Even if it’s hard, which it often is. But forgiving is really, really important not for one reason but for two.

One reason to forgive is that we exercise our judgment and accept someone’s apology because we know, if we’d done something and wanted to be forgiven enough to ask for it, we would ask hoping that the other person would forgive us. We should do to others what we would have them do to us.

The second reason is because we know what happens when we don’t forgive.

When someone hurts us, we often feel disappointed and sad. And angry. Every time we hear their voice or see them, or someone even mentions their name, we remember them hurting us and we feel upset and angry. And every time, those memories sour our mood, make us recall being hurt all over again.

That upset and anger is a burden, and we’re carrying it because we haven’t forgiven the person who hurt us. Once we forgive them, we don’t feel the anger or upset anymore.

Now it’s easier to forgive someone who apologizes and asks for forgiveness. But we can also forgive the person who hurts us and doesn’t apologize or ask for forgiveness. And we do that not so much for them. We do it for us. So when we hear or see them, we’re not hurt or upset anymore. We’re not angry anymore.

That doesn’t mean we have forgotten that they hurt us. It doesn’t mean we allow them to hurt us again. It does mean we don’t carry around that upset and anger. So we’re happier and more at peace.

One thing about forgiveness that seems hard is forgiving ourselves. We are human and we’re going to make mistakes. We are going to, at times, use poor judgment and not make wise choices.

When we do, we have to be honest with ourselves about our errors. We have to do what we can to fix problems we created, apologize for our wrongs, and then forgive ourselves.

When we forgive ourselves, then we go on wiser and smarter. We’re aware of what happens when we make those errors and we try hard to avoid making them, or ones like them, again. Forgiving ourselves is just as important as forgiving others.

We get to choose whether or not to forgive. And now we know why we should.

Take some time to think about what we discussed today. I hope it’s helped you better understand justice, judgment and forgiveness. Talk it all this over with your mom and dad and see what they think.

Some people think Morals and Values are important only because they show us how we’re supposed to behave. You know now that morals and values are so much more.

They help us to live a better life. A more content, happier life. Morals and Values are important because they help us build the kind of life we can be glad we created.

If you missed the other articles on Morals and Values, you can read them now: Part 1   Part 2 Part 3    Part 4    Part 5 .

It is my hope that you’ll read them again and again and they’ll help you create your best life.

A life where you are a kind, caring and compassionate person who does the right things for the right reasons. A loving person who tries hard to be good to others and yourself and is content. A person who is a blessing and blessed.

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About Vicki Hinze

USA Today Bestselling Author of 30+ books, short stories/novellas and hundreds of articles. Published in as many as 63 countries. Featured Columnist for Social N Worldwide Network and Book Fun Magazine. Sponsor/Founder of ChristiansRead.com & CleanReadBooks.com. FMI visit www.vickihinze.com.
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