Personal Development: Values
READ PSALM 15:1-5
Values are uncompromisable, undebatable truths that drive and direct behavior. They are motivational-they give us reasons why we do things; and they are restrictive-they place boundaries around behavior. Leadership literature is paying increased attention to the importance of consistent values to a leader’s effectiveness over the long haul.
King David demonstrated value-driven behavior in Psalm 15. Notice that he said the person who enjoys the presence of God and lives a blameless life is the one who “speaks the truth from his heart” (vv. 1-2). Because this person values truth in his heart, his words express truth. Because he values kindness, he “does his neighbor no wrong” (v. 3). Because he values honesty, he “keeps his oath even when it hurts” (v. 4). Because he values justice, he “does not accept a bribe against the innocent” (v. 5).
Leaders who are value driven reap a great benefit from the Lord. David said they “will never be shaken.” Regardless of what may happen around them, they can live with full confidence that the right principles have shaped their values and have guided their decisions. That confidence will give them emotional and spiritual stability. It will enable them to be leaders whom God can use for his glory.
As you reflect on this psalm, consider what values drove the psalmist’s behavior. As you examine your own life, what values do you see as driving your behavior? What values would you like to have drive your behavior? Make it your goal, as you begin this two-week study on values, to more completely integrate godly values into your professional and personal life.
Values and Who God Is
God is accountable to no one, and there is no higher principle to which he must conform. He himself is the absolute of truth, beauty, goodness, love and justice. His perfect character is the essence of what the Bible calls “righteousness.” In a universe without God, what we call “good” would have no ultimate referent. Turn to Habakkuk 1:13 for a view of this prophet’s struggle with God’s goodness.
Values and Who I Am
If we look to the world for our moral values, we will be confused by self-interest, social conditioning and situational ethics. The values of our culture are shallow and subjective, but the moral standards of Scripture reflect God’s absolute and unchanging character. Turn to Exodus 20:1-17 for the clearest summary of God’s values for his people.
Values and How They Work
Values are interesting to discuss in the abstract, but sometimes “values” get in the way of valuable decisions. Maintaining one’s values can cost a leader dearly. So how do we decide what matters most when we’re weighing the bottom-line costs against our bottom-line convictions? Jesus teaches us how in Matthew 6:19-21. Read it carefully-it is extremely valuable advice.
Values and What I Do
The Apostle Paul possessed tremendous resolve because he was able to link his desires with his values. Hackman and Johnson, in their book Leadership, provide us with guidance that will help us identify our values and then translate them into a compelling vision.
This Week’s Verse to Memorize LUKE 12:32-34
“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”