The Question of Morals/Ethics
Thoughts that should drive us to the cross,
7 After Boaz had finished eating and drinking and was in good spirits, he lay down at the far end of the pile of grain and went to sleep. Then Ruth came quietly, uncovered his feet, and lay down. 8 Around midnight Boaz suddenly woke up and turned over. He was surprised to find a woman lying at his feet! 9 “Who are you?” he asked.
“I am your servant Ruth,” she replied. “Spread the corner of your covering over me, for you are my family redeemer.”
10 “The LORD bless you, my daughter!” Boaz exclaimed. “You are showing even more family loyalty now than you did before, for you have not gone after a younger man, whether rich or poor. 11 Now don’t worry about a thing, my daughter. I will do what is necessary, for everyone in town knows you are a virtuous woman. Ruth 3:7-11
For no one but Christ alone succeeds in directing his action entirely to Christ; and thus, if we live in loving faith, our ethical standard is in the end taken from our hands and placed in the love of God.
You’re afraid of becoming distant and cold with everyone—you want so much to be detached! Get rid of that fear. If you belong to Christ—completely to Christ—he will give you fire, light and warmth for all men.
I’ve heard a lot of people judge others on the basis of morals and ethics recently. They take the highground, and assume others are simply imoral or unethical. Some even say that those they are judging the actions of are not, and could never be believers.
In that case, the moral and ethical maybe on a higher elevation, but it is not gorund, it is quicksand.
My devotions this morning included the story of Naomi’s plan for Ruth to get a husband. That was the intent of sending Ruth there, to remind Boaz of the obligation of kinsman redeemer, and the reward – a life with Ruth. Whether or not “anything” happened that evening – we do not know. But we know Boaz was concerned people might think that way – for he mentioned everyone knowing that Ruth’s virtue hadn’t been questioned. Though some might, if they caught her all dressed up, lying under the covers.
Our minds are not hard pressed toask the question if something happened. I’ve read commentators who insist that something did…
The moment our minds go there, we become like the prodigal son’s brother, or like the Pharisee who prayed at the same time as the tax collector. We sin. We become distant and cold to the person we are judging and often condemning. We want to be detatched, to drive a huge wedge between us and those who are unethical and immoral.
We forget our own self-serviing actions, our breaches of our own ethical and moral code, never mind that of God. We set ourselves up as those who can keep up and drive everything to Jesus, and do that which is holy and right – all the time.
We need Jesus to come and take our moral and ethical standard, to let the Holy Spirit transform our hearts and minds, so that they reflect Christ’s. There, we dwell in a peace and love that goes beyond explanaiton, that cleanses us from our own sin, our own ethical and moral failures. Filled with His love, we can then be that which others are drawn to, helping them see their need for Chirst to work in their lives.
You see, conversion is a matter of God invading our lives, cutting open out hearts and letting Him clean house. Which means we cannot take credit for any righteousness, we can only explain that we are also sinners, those who have been saved by God. THe God who longs to save people of every tribe, every nation, every toungue.
God will do what is necessary… may our lives be spent witnessing this… and even being a part of it. THat then becomes an incredible joy.
Balthasar, Hans Urs von. 2004. Love Alone Is Credible. Translated by D. C. Schindler. San Francisco: Ignatius Press.
Escriva, Josemaria. The Way . Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.