Many of us think we know what our core values are, especially those of us over the age of thirty. Our core values guide our actions and reactions. Our core values govern our lives. At any given time we are tested to demonstrate our core values. This is how we govern and conduct ourselves on the daily basis. The question is, if we go against our core values, does that make us evil or does it make us merely human? We are natural born sinners who, through grace, are forgiven. We don’t get a pass to indiscriminately sin without consequence. We do, however, have to answer to a higher power who has the ultimate right to judge.
I would argue that at one time or another, although we believe we have non-negotiable core values, we have done things that challenge them. Perhaps we test ourselves regarding our strength and our faith. Maybe we give up on them for reasons only known to ourselves. Maybe we question our values because we believe that following them lead us to some form of disappointment. We have all fallen short. We are expected to : every failure leads us closer to our impending victory. This becomes true only if we believe.
John Mason, best-selling author and speaker, suggests ways for us to define our core values and live in a fashion that will cause us to act in accordance to that. Mason provides ways for us to do this; “make yourself valuable to somebody today…tackling a problem bigger than yourself…getting to know God by reading His Word…helping someone who can’t repay you…doing three things that take you outside your comfort zone…giving thanks for your daily bread…leaving others a little better than you found them…not being afraid to ask for help…giving the best time of your day to God…doing today what you want to put off till tomorrow…remembering the time and place to be happy is here and now…taking small steps to conquer a bad habit…and evaluating your actions not by the harvest they produce, but by the seeds you’re sowing.”
Core values are simple to define. You simply remember everything that you were taught in kindergarten and basically live your life that way. Sometimes the clutter of our adult lives, that we hold on to in our minds, cause us to go against or forget our core values. Clearing the clutter in our minds makes room for the flowers to grow. There is nothing wrong with stopping to smell the flowers, they smell so sweet.