Have you ever written down your values, the principles that determine how you will live your life and into what you will invest your time and energy?  Values determine practices and your practices determine your results which are the goals you are working toward.  Your values shape and mold your priorities.  When they are clearly written down they serve as a filter to help you determine into what you will and will not devote your efforts.  Another way of viewing values is to see them as the “rules of the road” for you on your journey.

In The Multiplication Workshop Dave Devries says, “Values reflect a person’s unique beliefs, core convictions, and guiding principles.  These values will guide ongoing attitudes and behaviors.  Often times, values are unwritten assumptions that guide actions. In any situation…Values are confirmed by actions, not just by words.  Values are more about deeds than words.  Core values should be able to be expressed in terms of acceptable and unacceptable behavior.”

In The Leadership Challenge James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner say this, “Values help us determine what to do and what not to do. They’re deep-seated, pervasive standards that influence every aspect of our lives: our moral judgments, our responses to others, our commitments to personal and organizational goals. Values set the parameters for the hundreds of decisions we make every day.”

Values help you make day-to-day decisions.  Remember, your values are not what you say they are but what you are actually doing.  That is what you really value!  You will need to set aside a time to have a prayer retreat in order to be directed by His Word and the Holy Spirit.  Recently, I went through this process to determine the values that would drive and direct the rest of my life.  My prayer is that this simple course of action will be a blessing to you:

  • Write down 5-7 (no more than 10) non-negotiable values!
  • Write out 2-3 descriptions of each value that determine your behavior.
  • Find a quote that explains and supports each value.
  • Ask God to direct to you to the passage in His Word that is the foundational truth for that value.
  • Write out a principle (original or not) that clearly restates your value.

Here is what it looked like for me as God has taught me the value of prayer and my desire to make sure that my values determine my practices.  Prayer is my value to regularly listen to you, Lord.  I will pursue you in prayer through Praise, Repent, Ask, and Yield. 

  • Description #1: I am committed to “persisting” in prayer knowing that you hear and answer me!
  • Description #2: I absolutely refuse to give up on talking to you and listening to you knowing that the “urgent request of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect.”
  • Quote: “Prayer is not preparation for the battlefield, it is the battlefield!” –E. M. Bounds
  • Verse: John 14:12-14, “I assure you: The one who believes in Me will also do the works that I do. And he will do even greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in My name, I will do it so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.”
  • THE POWER PRINCIPLE from Dynamic Church Planting International: Prayer is the indispensable source of God’s power and wisdom in each phase of church planting.  (And in every are of our life.)

As a filter, values enable you to build divinely determined boundaries.  Here is what Henry Cloud says about developing boundaries in our lives, “When we create boundaries, we aren’t saying to the world, “I can’t help you.”  Instead, we’re saying, “I must focus intentionally on the specific things God has placed right now in my direct influence.”  By saying no to people and to things that are not contained within God’s distinct vision for our lives, we’re actually saying “yes” to His sovereignty.  He knows the best way for His will to be accomplished. For us to assume we can handle more is rebellious and counterproductive!”

We cannot just talk about biblical values, we must live them out daily!

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