A moral compass for the New Year

By Pastor Steve Weihsmann

Harris Covenant Church

A directional compass works because there is a large deposit of iron near the northern pole of the rock we live on, and it stays put.  So when you hold a compass in the palm of your hand, the needle swings round and points to that large deposit of iron and so always to the north.  Once you know north, you know south, east and west, unless you are one of those people who get left and right confused, in which case you might get east and west mixed up.  But most of us can figure it correctly.

I remember learning to use a compass in Boy Scouts and thinking what a powerful tool I had for navigating the woods.  My friends and I would test each other, using topographical maps and taking bearings from one point to another. We would then find the beginning places on the actual landscape and follow the bearings to see if we could come out at the destinations marked on the map.  To this day, I carry a compass with me when hunting, just in case I need to go somewhere unfamiliar and am not sure of the way back.

A moral compass is a powerful tool for navigating life.  The best moral compass is one which relies on some “deposit” of standard character which “stays put.”  There is only one such character in the universe, and that is the character of Jesus Christ.  He does not shift with changing times, but is absolutely reliable.  If our moral compass points to Him it always points to what is good and true.  Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”

There are moral compasses which point to other things, but none of them gives us a bearing which is good and true all the time.

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