What is a core value? Core values are your set standards. They are unconditional, unwavering, set of beliefs that ultimately guide the way you live.
Of course I believe Christians should all say that the Word of God and Holy Spirit give us our core values, but as we can tell over the last few weeks just because you say that you are a Christian does not mean we all share the same core values.
My core values create a lens through which I see situations. It is important to me that I allow my values to shape my world as opposed to circumstances, government, or even the values of others.
Let me give an example that will get stones thrown at me. If you have a core value of "do not kill" (Matt 5:21) then you are pro-life. You cannot be pro-life and support abortion. You cannot be pro-life and support the death penalty. You cannot be pro-life and support the assassination of a cruel dictator.
Perhaps your core value for killing others permits it when it is for the greater good of society. Perhaps your core value permits it when it is punishment for crime. Perhaps your core value permits it in cases of rape, choice, or inconvenience. I'm not here to tell you what your core values should be or what mine are, but I will say, you do not have a core value of "do not kill" or "pro-life" if you allow permissions to kill for specific circumstances.
A core value of "do not kill" is not moved or changed by someone else's character or behavior. It is a set believe in spite of circumstances. My friend Dr. Sarah W Howe, said it best the other day, "we shouldn't violate our own core values in order to show our disapproval of someone else". That means I have no right to see behavior I disapprove of and believe that gives me a right to violate the values that I say direct my life. So much to be said there about so many topics but I'll leave that there for your own convictions to explore. I have a core value not to complain. This is new for me. I wish I would have concreted this in my beliefs years ago, but after an encounter with the Lord about it this year, it has been something I've intentionally practiced for the last 5 months. I told God I would not "complain" about things I was not willing to give my life for. Therefore, complaint is pretty much non-optional. If this is my core value that means I can look at situations that everything in me doesn't like, disagrees with, and absolutely wants to complain about, but my conviction doesn't allow me to do so. It beckons me to shut my mouth. It doesn't mean I can't stand for Truth, but I must seek Holy Spirit on how to take a stand without complaining. What are your core values? What beliefs guide your world?
What do those values say about God, about you, about society? I think it's vital to our world and character to have a base of values that we prioritize.
If I have a core value that God is good then when a circumstance comes that seemingly challenges that belief, I have a value in place to stand on.
If I have a core value that sex before marriage is wrong then my decision about purity has been made long before I allow myself to go into a bedroom with someone I'm not married to. Core values allow you to decide your response to unpredictable situations long before they present themselves. They set the standard for your life regardless of those around you. At the end of the day, you do not control other people's behavior, but you have every ability to stay in charge of your own. You can not allow circumstances and emotions to dictate your actions, but rather your set values. Read the Word. Talk to Holy Spirit. What values are guiding your life right now? What values do you want to guide your life? Who is He asking you to be? My value that God is a God of His Word, a good God, a God of power and redemption whacks fear of man and fear of failure in the face. I'm not afraid of mans mistreatment or betrayal. I'm not afraid of mans opinions or sin because of my belief in who He is. I'm not afraid of my own mistakes, those times I "miss" it, or just absolute utter failure. I know His redemptive nature. I know He'll work it all for my good! Ask yourself what values you have about God. Not just simply what the Word says, but what have you believed that has shaped how you live. Does that line up with His nature and character?
You may find that you've believed lies that have produced habits, mindsets, and circumstances you don't necessarily want in your life! Be blessed,