The fifth and next Army values is honor. I defined the value honor in the introduction to this series as to “live up to values that Christ has shown and taught us.” In order to ever understand the story of Jesus Christ, you must read the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. In these books are the stories, teachings, commands, and miracles of Jesus Christ. With that being said, there is no way I can list and explain all of the values that Christ tells us to have, so I have decided to pick a few of His important values that I haven’t covered in my previous posts or I won’t cover in my future posts.
Growing up, I was constantly taught and told to forgive others. Not only that, but we should ask for forgiveness when we do something wrong to others. In the book of Matthew, Jesus teaches us how to pray, and today we know it as the Lord’s Prayer. Matthew 6:12 (ESV) speaks of forgiveness when it says, “Forgive us our debts as also we have forgiven our debtors.” In speaking to the Father, Jesus teaches us to ask for forgiveness from the Father, but to also forgive those who have wronged us.
After ending the prayer, Jesus continues to instruct us on forgiveness. In Matthew 6:14-15 (ESV) it reads, “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” In Luke 17:3-4 (ESV) it reads, “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns toward you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.” No matter how many times someone does something wrong, if he asks for forgiveness we must forgive them. It is to be our natural response, especially since Christ has forgiven so much of what we have done as His children.
By now, you know that I love to come up with definitions to clearly define what we are talking about. In this case, Oxford Dictionary has an excellent way of defining compassion as, “sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others
In Luke 25-35 (ESV) it reads, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.'”
This is the story Jesus tells us to teach us about compassion. It is not the priest or Levite that stopped to help, despite what we would think, but surprisingly the Samaritan. The Samaritan did two things: 1) he saw someone who was struck with misfortune and he had a sense of sympathy and sorrow for him. 2) he tried to get rid of the suffering. This is what it means to have compassion. It doesn’t matter that he was a Samaritan helping a Jew (unheard of to the culture Jesus was teaching). The Samaritan was a neighbor, and so he had loving compassion.
(The value, not the holiday where we get to stuff our faces with great food.)
Paul teaches this value to us in Colossians 3:15-17 (ESV) which reads, “And be thankful. Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
Paul teaches us to be thankful in this passage. He urges us to allow the words of Christ to teach us and admonish us in wisdom. He tells us to worship and give praise by singing psalms, hymns, and songs with thankfulness in our hearts. He ends it by instructing us to do everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both with the words we say and the actions we perform. Through doing this, we give thanks to God for all that he has done. True thanksgiving comes from the worship of the One who has given us everything we have.
This entire series is on the values that Jesus Christ calls Christians to do. However, they aren’t the only values. I chose these because they are the same values the Army has. There are countless other values that all Christians should possess. By being an honorable Christians, you show all the values that Jesus instructs to have, whether they are the ones I have mentioned throughout this series, the ones I will write about in the future, the ones I mentioned in this post, or the ones I wasn’t able to mention.
May we all go forth from this day forgiving others that have wronged against us and asking forgiveness to those we have wronged against, both to men and God. May we all have a deep sense of sympathy and sorrow for those who have been struck by misfortune, and by doing so also try to get rid of the misfortune. May we all give thanksgiving to God for all that he has done in our lives and in others lives. Finally, may we all live our lives with the values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, and honor on our conscious minds.