Upfront I will admit I love plays on words. I do way too many crossword puzzles and other word games. So the title of this piece actually refers to the value of your core, not your central value as the term usually means.
One of the paradoxical problems of Christianity concerns basic human nature. While images of washing and refining assume that there is something precious that will be revealed once external corruption has been removed, other images speak of a total corruption of our nature that must be covered or graciously passed over. Theologians have split hairs for centuries trying to reconcile these two conflicting ideas. The truth remains: they cannot both be true at the same time.
If we accept the idea of the total corruption of our human nature then we will also accept the need for constant oppression of our core. No thought, feeling or felt need, whether physical or spiritual, can be accepted as good without some external verification that it is good. This makes it very easy for those who claim spiritual authority to oppress others. Ideas about beating the hell out of someone are acceptable if the core of humanity’s nature is so corrupted. Like hostages dependent upon the capricious good will of their captors for survival, we would fearfully attempt to please a judgmental god even accepting abuse at the hands of the representatives of that god.
On the other hand, if we accept that our core is valuable then we work to free what is good from those things that darken, twist or encumber it. We forgive and let go what is hurtful. We release and encourage the inner being. We stand against oppression. We refuse to accept abuse.
I think our core is valuable like gold that shines all the more when washed and purified, not iron that rusts, changing molecularly when exposed to air and water. How do you see your core value?