My Pastor gave me an assignment, to write out my core values. It has taken me 3 1/2 weeks to do it. This has not been an easy task. Thinking about what are the powerful drivers that move me to action. To think about when they became important and how they work in my life. It has been an eye opening experience.
I set out to find somewhere between 6-8 core values.
These are things that are bottom of your gut necessary to who you are.
These are the things that are powerful drivers in your life that move you to action.
How do you find these core values?
Look at your check book, what do you spend money on?
Look at your calendar, what do you spend your time on?
Look at your conversations, what are you talking about?
Look at what you think about? What angers you? What joys you?
The Children’s Pastor at my church wrote her values in a format that I thought made sense.
Written below I have : How did it become a value? How does it apply to my spiritual life?
How I found my 1st value is I looked at my struggles! I struggle with fear.
The opposite of fear for me is TRUST
TRUST: Without trust there is no point. Trusting in God and His goodwill toward me will take me through anything this life holds. Trusting in people is not wise but if those people also trust in God, I can have a measurable amount of success in my relationships and dealings as we walk together in Christ. With this type of trust I can have faith to be open and honest with who I am, believing that God is my defender when pain comes my way. With this type of trust I also can overcome hurt and forgive others. Trust first became a value from enduring a few negative situations that caused me to crave trust. The need for trust became so important that I spent much of my waking hours testing and looking for evidence of mistrust in the faces, words and body language of the people around me, making me a very suspicious person. When I came to know the Lord I began to walk through many situations that have required me to actively rely on God in trust. This has lessened my fears and has grounded me in the fact that Jesus is steadfast. I have also come to know when I have left this trust and started walking about in fear. I can hear it in the words I use and see it in the way that I behave. Having trust in GOD has made me free to be me.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
My 2nd value was I looked at the ways that I protect myself.
SECURITY/CONFIDENCE: is important to me because security/confidence means that I am safe and free from intentional harm. It means that I can relax and enjoy my surroundings. It means I can share myself and partake of who others are without fear,not hiding who I am or running from situations to find safety. I have been in many instances where I did not feel safe with others. I came to see security/ confidence as a need through enduring emotional abuse, accusation, physical harm and many threating situations. No one ought to feel that way. Jesus is a strong tower of safety high above the evil and pain of this world. I may encounter it but I know in whom I trust. In the mean time I endeavor to be a safe place for others to be who they are and be honest about where they are.
Proverbs 29:25 The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.
Proverbs 18:10 The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe
I found my 3rd value is by examining how I see myself.
RESPONSIBILITY: What I do and what I say are expressions of who I am. Who I am is hidden in Christ. These things are an expression or the fruit of who Christ is in me. I believe, If I say I will do something, I do it. If I agree, then I follow through. If I mess up, I own it and learn and move forward. Words have meaning! What I say, I am responsible for. When I was about 13 I found out that my dad was not my dad. The way I found out was through my dad sending a request for paternity. He took me on as his responsibility. My parents never planned on telling me. When they split up that changed. I was crushed. God never did that to me, instead He took me on and even sent Christ to pay for my sin.
2 Corinthians 5:21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
My 4th value came through looking at what brings me joy and excitement.
Exploration/Discovery: When I was a kid my Grammy took me on little trips. We never went to the same place twice. It was always an adventure in discovering what was just around the bend. I remember she would say “which way should we go?” and someone in the van would yell out “left or right.” These little trips developed a love of the unknown. I am a little more planned out than that now that I have grown up but I still love finding little places, coffee shops, nooks and crannies and finding what is behind a laugh, a smile, a sentence, a feeling, a friendship, anything really. I want to understand what I call the backstory. I want to know what is going on underneath the veneer that we put out into the word. I want to know what’s and why’s. This is also how I overcome myself and its sabotage. What I am not willing to look at I cannot understand and overcome. Walking into the dark places and letting Christ speak to me there, looking at my ways and wanderings with me in friendship has helped me see where I am invested in self-effort and pride rather than walking in love and truth. Without this process I stuff my emotions. I disconnect from life and live half alive. Exploration and discovery bring to me interest in my life, color, joy, captivating things, words, quotes, poetry, music, things to share, beauty to see and life to live!
They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.
So I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given them under the sun.
I found my 5th value through where pride can slip me up if I am do not remain humble.
Independence: I do not depend on other people to tell me what is or isn’t. I search out the matter myself. Sometimes this takes years but I will have a solid base rather than the reason of “someone said so.” I don’t allow people to coerce me. I will stand my ground for what I believe is right. I had many instances of being made to sit and listen to what a certain person had to say. I could not question or search out an idea or topic. The conversation was for me to hear and adhere to. I sat quietly but I did not adhere nor listen if I found the information to be nonsense. When I first became a Christian the pastor at the church I attended told me that I was a Berean. I looked it up, of course! I believe it is important to look into what is said, what is common, what is normal, to see if it holds up under a close examination. God does this to us within our hearts and I believe we ought to do that too so that we are not following blindly.
The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. 11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.
Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!
My 6th value is how I am moved by God and would like to touch others.
Worship: Music has always been a part of me. When I was in Junior high I joined choir and it changed me. I continued choir all through high school. I saw how the presence of voices or absence of voices added to the ambiance of the song. I noticed that the way a song is presented had a way of reaching me or repelling me. I was told a time or two that I couldn’t sing and to just be quiet. I was determined to sing and I practiced until I knew the music inside out. I couldn’t stop. Music moved me. I have always known that singing was a major connection for me to feel my emotions and connect with a deeper place than I can get to without it. When I worship God with song I can feel it, get inside the meaning, let the emotion pour through me and out to God and people. When I worship it is a place that my mind stops spinning on what is going on and I fully focus on God. I want to create a moment for people to open their hearts to God. I want them to feel lifted into His presence, to know just how near He really is. If they have seen Him and found rest from their lives in Him and released their selves to be moved to worship Him too then I have done what I came to do.
Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.
The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.
My 7th and final value is how I learn and grow.
Journal/Blogging/Writing: These are the ways that I connect with myself, Talk to myself, find myself and vent to myself. Without it I am disconnected and bury my emotions, lost in my thoughts without clarity. If I don’t take the time to write I move on too quickly and I don’t learn my lessons. I discovered a love of writing from Mr. Brower who was my English teacher in high school. I found great joy and amazing passion when I write. I have found that I respect and care for myself when I write what is going on in my life. Writing creates a safe place for me to deal with my struggles and weaknesses. It also allows me to count my blessings and remember moments, keeping track of time in journal books. These books are the place that I work out truth and understanding of who God says that I am. I feel more confident about who I am in Christ when I am writing. I have found that when I am confused or unsure writing helps me to know what I think, what I need, what I want or do not want. It is a place that I speak to God and it is also one of the ways that God uses to speak to me. I am dry and lifeless without it.
My son (daughter), if you accept my words
and store up my commands within you,
turning your ear to wisdom
and applying your heart to understanding—
indeed, if you call out for insight
and cry aloud for understanding,
and if you look for it as for silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure,
then you will understand the fear of the Lord
and find the knowledge of God.
For the Lord gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
He holds success in store for the upright,
he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,
for he guards the course of the just
and protects the way of his faithful ones.
ITS AMAZING WHAT GOD CAN BUILD FROM ALL YOUR POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE EXPERIENCES. PRAISE TO THE KING!
7 Comments Add yours
I did it!
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I totally want to do this! It seems a little overwhelming, but I still might to give it a try! 🙂
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it was a very good challenge – thank you!
what a good challenge. we need to know what we stand for. love this. thank you starla!
I think it’s a good idea to have your core values written down, to know who and what you stand for. For a long time I took people at their word and didn’t bother to find out for myself if what they said was truth, I realized the hard way, you should always know the truth for yourself and if you aren’t sure look it up yourself and not to take someone’s word for it.
I love music too, it settles me. And it’s my favorite way to worship.