A DHS worker in Oklahoma, who worked on a high profile case in which a father killed his daughter, was recently found dead, presumably from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. It is a wonder this does not happen more often considering the immense responsibility and pressure of the job they perform.
Imagine the stress of being a DHS worker in today’s society. Your job, among others, is to assess the living conditions of those people to whom you are assigned. Most people do not welcome this sort of intrusion into their lives and react in a defensive manner. This is the age of ‘tolerance’. This is usually a euphemism for ‘anything goes’.
Relativism is the rule of the day. The most common verbal manifestations of this kind of thinking appear in the statements:
“Who are you to tell me what’s right?”
“What’s right for you may not be what’s right for me.”
“Mind you own business.”
“It’s my life, not yours.”
“I’m not hurting anyone by my actions.”
“You can’t legislate morality.”
Our cultural mindset says that no one has the right to criticize anyone else. This must make the DHS worker’s job incredibly difficult. The worker may believe that a child’s living situation is dangerous, but public sentiment says that this worker’s opinion is just that…opinion. The parents (guardians, caregivers) of that child may have different opinions of how life should be lived. A relativistic attitude says that one person’s opinion is no better than another person’s opinion.
A DHS worker may say that living conditions are too dirty. The response is “What’s too dirty?” “It may be too dirty for you, but not for me.” When absolutes are non-existent, subjectivism rules the day. When there are no firm and fast standards by which to make decisions, everyone does what they think is right in their own eyes (Proverbs 12:15; 21:2). Everyone makes up their own rules to follow...and they usually resist any external criticism, no matter how constructive.
This is just the latest manifestation of a society that is moving further and further away from God. We no longer know what is right and what is wrong. In order to determine right from wrong we must first determine our purpose. If we have no purpose, right and wrong become subjective concepts that fluctuate with cultural climates and various situations.
And what is our purpose? It is to:
“…LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND; AND YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” (Luke 10:27; Mark 12:30; Matthew 22:37)
If we expect to be able to clearly discern right and wrong, we must have an unchanging standard by which to gauge our decisions.