Values … you have values whether you can put a name to them or not. Your values are the principles that you deem important, those things that motivate you. They are the driving force behind what you do and who you are. Your values shape your behavior, your relationships and your choices. Having values is like having a firm foundation to build on. The more you know about your values, the easier it will be to understand and prioritize the things you do.
I recently heard a message from Andy Stanley called "Ask It." He used Ephesians 5:15-16 which says, “Be careful, then, how you live -- not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity." He started off the message with this intro:
What if there was a question that would clarify your best option for ninety percent of the decisions you make in life—a question that answers just about everything? It would have the potential to foolproof your relationships, marriage, finances, calendar, pace and health. It would reduce the complexity of your life. It would save you time, money and tears. You would carry around less regret. And best of all, you wouldn't have to apologize nearly as much.
It is a simple question. “What is the wise thing to do?” Andy called it a litmus test for every decision we make. I believe that our values also play a huge part in this test. When we know our values and we ask, “What is the wise thing to do?”, we are putting our best interest first. God has our best interest in mind; shouldn't we? When we consider our values and “what’s the wise thing to do” in regards to our past, we can keep history from repeating itself. For example, I value loyalty. When I consider loyalty and what the wise thing to do would be based on my past, I know that I am putting my marriage first. I am breaking the cycle of divorce that runs in my family. When it comes to my current circumstances, my values of faith and trust coupled with “what’s the wise thing to do” empowers me to release the situations I cannot control over to God. Legacy is important to me, and in light of my future hopes and dreams, I can focus on leaving a spiritual legacy for my daughters and future generations. Do you get the idea? Our values can and should make decision-making easier. They must be a gauge by which we measure everything in our lives.
Hopefully by now you are thinking about your values. I want you to write down at least 10 values. I know this is going to be hard, so let me give you a few examples.
Now that you have your ten values, I want you to narrow them down to five. You might be thinking ”FIVE?!” Yes!!! I want you to narrow them down to five. You need to laser beam focus on five values that mean the most to you. You may need to walk away from them for a bit.
Our goal with this exercise is simple. The things that we say are important to us must line up with how we live our lives. If integrity is on our list, our words and deeds must match up. If we value service, we must use our talents to serve others. You've heard the TWU Faculty and teachers say that we are all created on purpose for a purpose. Our values shed light on our purpose. All of us are on a spiritual and creative journey to become all God created us to be. By knowing our values and standing strong in them, we are on our way to becoming the women we were meant to be. I firmly believe that when we learn more about ourselves and who we are in Christ, we gain wisdom and insight.
My prayer for you today is that you understand yourself a little more. Pray and seek God’s Word to help you design your core values. When our values line up with God’s, we will look at things from His perspective.
Embrace life to the fullest,
Meet the Authors