Why Good Values Are Not Good Enough - Glasshouse Christian College

Why Good Values Are Not Good Enough



  • May 9, 2024

Why Good Values Are Not Good Enough

If you were to ask most of the GCC parents what they want for their children, good values would rank towards the top. Of course, we all want our children to do well academically and be good at sports but most parents recognise that good values are more important than good grades and sports trophies.

Good values are important because they shape our children’s character and stay with them long after they throw their graduation hats in the air and walk the red carpet at their formal. Good values build character, contribute to an ethical and compassionate community and foster respectful relationships. 

However, most people don’t recognise that good values alone are not good enough. For example, how do you define good values? 

Societies, countries and communities vary greatly in what they define as good values and often seem to oppose each other. Even in parenting, our good values differ immensely. One family might value strict discipline and another might embrace child autonomy. Both families love their children and believe these values are good so how do we decide what is good?

Glasshouse Christian College good values

At GCC, good values are important and often the reason parents choose our school for their children. We have embraced our core values in the acronym: G.R.E.A.T.

Godliness
Respect
Excellence
Attitude
Teachability

These values regularly come up in my blogs and emails, they are prominent in leadership and awards ceremonies, referred to in newsletter articles and our socials. They are an important part of GCC’s DNA.

I’m sure you will agree that these are good values but are they good enough? I don’t think so.

On their own, these values aren’t ‘anchored’ and are just nice words that sound good and come in handy for assemblies or when addressing behaviour concerns. They are simply a list of moralisms. There are even times when these values by themselves can be misused. For example, Teachability is a good value but not if you are learning bad things. Attitude is a good value but only when it is a good attitude. Even Godliness can be misused if it is based on the wrong god. 

If good values are not good enough then what is important?

Many families want good values but don’t recognise the importance of basing these values on Jesus Christ. They want good values but nothing to do with religion. Organised religion is sometimes given a bad name so I understand the desire to want good values without any reference to Jesus or the God of the Bible but it just doesn’t work.

One of the most disturbing books in the Bible is the book of Judges. It is filled with atrocious and violent behaviour and summed up with the final verse, “Every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” Judges 21:25. The people weren’t trying to be bad; they just did what they thought was the right thing. Judges is the perfect example of where moralism leads to, without reference to God or Jesus Christ.

Good values without being based on the example and teaching of Jesus Christ are just a set of moralisms that eventually lead to the dismal situation found in the book of Judges. If Judges were a Netflix series, it would probably be rated R and it is a hard read but I encourage you to have a go and keep in mind that all the horrible things you read are because “people did what was right in their own eyes”. 

Seven reasons to base good values on Jesus Christ

When good values are not based on the example and teaching of Jesus Christ, they lack a deeper spiritual or moral foundation that provides context and meaning to those values. Here are seven potential consequences:

  1. Subjectivity: Without a spiritual or moral foundation, good values may be subjective and vary based on cultural norms, personal preferences, or societal trends. This can lead to inconsistency or ambiguity in how values are interpreted and applied.

  2. Lack of Transcendence: Values not rooted in the teachings of Jesus Christ lack a transcendent or eternal perspective, focusing solely on temporal concerns rather than spiritual truths or ultimate realities.

  3. Relativism: Without a universal standard of truth and morality, there may be a tendency towards moral relativism, where individuals justify their actions based on personal preferences or societal norms rather than absolute principles. This is summed up in the book of Judges.

  4. Limited Transformation: While good values can promote positive behaviour and character traits, they may lack the transformative power of spiritual renewal and inner growth that comes from aligning one’s life with the teachings of Jesus Christ.

  5. Ethical Erosion: Without a firm moral foundation, good values are susceptible to erosion in the face of moral ambiguity, societal pressure, or personal convenience. This can lead to ethical compromises or moral drift over time.

  6. Shallow Understanding: Values not grounded in the teachings of Jesus Christ lack a deep understanding of the underlying principles and virtues that give meaning and significance to those values. This can result in superficial adherence or legalistic interpretations.

  7. Missed Spiritual Growth: Without a spiritual foundation, individuals may miss out on the opportunity for spiritual growth, transformation, and a deeper relationship with God that comes from living according to the teachings of Jesus Christ.

At Glasshouse Christian College, our whole educational experience is underpinned by biblical values grounded in a desire to follow the example of Jesus Christ. Our commitment to these values permeates every aspect of our school community, shaping not only what we teach in the classroom but also how we interact with one another, approach challenges, and serve our broader community. 

I hope that you embrace the importance of faith in Jesus Christ as the starting point in teaching good values in your home.

Mike Curtis, Principal

Scroll to Top