Are values tied to the human condition, or are they rooted in the nature and existence of God? This is an instrumental distinction in the conversation regarding personal values and what they add to the life of an individual, particularly a follower of Jesus.
According to scripture, mankind was made in the image of the Triune God (Ge. 1.27), which Bishop (2013) points out that values held by the Trinity were instilled in mankind innately. (p. 128-130) Paul even alludes to this innate understanding of God’s values, or laws. (Ro. 2:14-15) Though in the eyes of man these Godly values were all that existed, the truth of the matter did not become apparent until the eyes of man were opened to the existence of evil; (Ge. 2.25) opposing values were present.
Hultman (2002) states, “without the capacity to formulate and act on values, life on the human level would not exist.” (Kindle Location 234) The primary ability that separates human existence from all other created beings is the ability to choose and exercise free will. It is this foundational element of man that allows for a proper relationship with God himself to exist. Hultman taps into this truth by pointing out a primary part of human existence is the act of choice on values that are worthy of adherence. Bishop (2013) defines values as good, desirable, and righteous, which accurately reflect the personhood of the Creator of mankind. It is the selfish desire for man to meet needs (Hultman, 2012) in a way that violates God’s values that creates separation from God, rather than meeting needs by making choices in harmony with the values innately built into mankind.
Bishop, W. H. (2013). The Genesis of Values in Genesis. Journal of Human Values, 19(2), 127–132.
Crossway Bibles. (2007). ESV: study Bible: English standard version (ESV text ed.). Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles.
Hultman, K. (2001). Balancing Individual and Organizational Values: Walking the Tightrope to Success. Wiley.