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The Wall Street Journal found 43 percent of Americans now consider “money” a very important value, up from 31 percent in 1998. “Patriotism” declined from 70 to 38 percent; “having children” from 59 to 30 percent; and “religion” from 62 to 39 percent. “Tolerance for others, deemed very important by 80 percent of Americans as recently as four years ago, has fallen to 58 percent since then.”
It is said that we value what is important to us. As evidenced in the article, many people value themselves more than family, country, or God. The Apostle Paul’s description of the end times in 2 Timothy 3:2 (“men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money”) tells of a shift in values away from others to self. Considering such a shift, an observation in Psychology Today from back in 2013 is worth noting: “While feelings create temporary importance, values give enduring meaning and purpose to life. Feelings may forge committed relationships, but values sustain them. The power of love comes not from its feelings but its values.” A generation turning more to feelings than values will soon discover the impact such a shift has on their society. In fact, we are already seeing it.
Although the world lacks knowledge of God, His love, and His purpose, He loves humanity so much that He sent His Son to die for us (John 3:16). The Apostle John records these words of Jesus on the night in which He was betrayed: “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:12–14). In the gospel that bears his name, the Apostle reminds us that God the Father loved us so much that He voluntarily gave His Son to be our Friend—to empty Himself of His glory that we might escape death and have eternal life. Could there be any greater love in all the universe than what was expressed on that Passover Day nearly 2,000 years ago? To learn more, please read or listen to our free study guide titled John 3:16: Hidden Truths of the Golden Verse.