“A system of morality which is based on relative emotional values is a mere illusion, a thoroughly vulgar conception which has nothing sound in it and nothing true.” Socrates
Defining truly moral behavior requires an objective viewpoint which drills down until there is a reasonable foundation independent of our opinions. That is, what is right cannot be based strictly on what we may be feeling at a particular time. Lust is a prime example. Because there may be something (or someone!) we desire with extreme intensity, we can convince ourselves we are somehow entitled to it; and because we want it so badly, it just feels right irrespective of what the Bible may have to say about that particular thing. Even if we can read an unambiguous biblical statement prohibiting such behavior, we are inclined to continue with that behavior with the conscious-salving statement: “God loves me anyway.”
This misses the entire point of Divine Love and our necessary response to that Love. It is not about how much we can get from that Love. Think about it. Do we not warn our children to protect themselves from being “used” by friends? So if we work so diligently to protect our children and then teach them to protect themselves from being exploited by others, should this standard not also apply to the One who has given us life? Should we not be diligent in making sure we are not exploiting Divine Grace as an excuse to continue living and doing as we choose, according to our emotions and emotional responses? Responses that are based not on reason but strictly on feelings?
The Lord set the standard long ago “in stone”, and it is a standard which has served the faithful for generations. It is even written for us to know of what happens to a society that chooses to turn its back on that Standard so we may know how fragile society truly is when it functions strictly according to its collective “lust” – because in the end, our emotions (being entirely self-serving) will not only ignore the Divine Standard but will ultimately require that others be exploited to serve our emotional needs. They will receive nothing in return nor do we care whether they do.
“Hold fast to what is good”, as it is written in the Scriptures for us to know. But first we must know what is truly good. Even Jesus denied His own “goodness” and pointed instead to the “One who is good”; our Father who is in heaven.