Values Keep You Stable When the Picture Changes
Go right. Go left. Forward or backward. The picture of life is always changing.
How we actively live in the ever-changing view of each day will either glorify God or not. We decide where to go and what to do according to our priorities. And our priorities are reflected in what we value.
Our values can be a stable spot in the flow of everyday.
Whether we believe it or not, our values drive our decisions. And those values are evident to everyone – especially to those closest to us.
Have you taken the time to reflect on what you value? And if so, are your actions mapping with your values? Consider the following:
- If you believe you value time with your family, yet spend every waking hour working…
- If you say you want to serve, yet haven’t made a commitment to show up…
- If you seek a leadership role, yet take no time to learn and grow where you are…
- If you want to connect with like-minded believers, yet you don’t seek them out…
- If you commit to follow Jesus, yet know your pursuits won’t bring Him glory…
Which values have you declared?
Values are at the heart of how we reflect Jesus in our lives.
As leaders – in your family, church, community, workplace and entire life – your actions influence others. Show what you stand for by being deliberate; let your values reflect Jesus in your life.
Determining Your Values
Take some time. Look through a listing of values, and choose three that most resonate with you. (The Lead Like Jesus Encounter 3.0 has a list of 94.) Ken Blanchard suggests three, and if you must, stretch the number to four.
As you are deciding on which core values to choose, think of these three questions:
- Will living this value glorify God?
- Will this value make your everyday decisions clear?
- Can you sustain this value over time?
Once you’ve determined your values, and they’ve passed these three questions, put them in a rank-order.
How might this process look in real life?
First look at Jesus. His values always led Him to glorify His Father. He sustained those values till the end of His days And He never waffled in his decisions – they were clear.
Of course, Jesus was perfect. His leadership was without blemish. As an imperfect human, you will definitely be less than perfect in how your values reflect Jesus, as the picture of your life changes.
As a personal example, we (Robert & Lori) have been married for more than thirty years and our life’s picture has changed significantly. We’ve navigated through babies, toddlers, and teens in our home. Our picture has included corporate business life, ministry and entrepreneurship. Yes, many changes – just like in your life, we imagine.
The picture has changed, yet our values remain the same.
For us, what has remained stable over the years are our values: Loyalty, Optimism and Discovery. They’re rank-ordered by importance for us. And by using the three questions, our values have served us well. Now, have we been perfect? Oh, no. So very far from perfect. But we keep trying. Here’s what we keep striving for:
1. Will living our three values glorify God?
We glorify God by demonstrating our loyalty to Him, being positive in our interactions with others, and learning more about His character and His will for our lives.
2. Will our three values help us make clear, everyday decisions?
In all decisions we demonstrate our loyalty to God by putting Him first. When a decision in word or deed is necessary, we work to be optimistic regardless of the price. And if there is ever an opportunity to discover or learn – we grab it. (That’s why we’ve been traveling full-time for the last year.)
3. Will our three values be sustainable over time?
The decision to be loyal and faithful to God has, through grace, been possible during our 30+ years of marriage. Looking for good in all circumstances might be a challenge, but we’re still determined, and there’s always something new to learn and discover at every stage of life.
What about your values?
The three listed above are our values. They won’t be the same as yours.
As a facilitator for Lead Like Jesus, and after studying, and researching values for many years, Robert’s experience has shown it’s rare for participants to choose the same rank-ordered set of values as others. In fact, in our own business when we work with couples on their shared values, it is quite an interesting process to find three values which both can embrace.
Choose your values!
Embrace the challenge to choose your own values! Consider how living those values you’ve chosen will bring glory to God – make decisions clear – and how they will be sustainable over time.
By Robert and Lori Ferguson
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