YOUR LIFE FOLLOWS YOUR VALUES
Imagine you are cooking dinner tonight. What will you cook? You will choose something you like, right? You wouldn’t choose foods that you don’t like. Your choice of dinner would follow the “value” that you place on different foods.
In the same way, every choice you make in your life expresses your values. The Bible talks about this a lot. In Matthew 15:19 Jesus says, “For out of the heart come evil thoughts…” Solomon wrote in Proverbs 4:23 “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.”
That means that you can’t change your life in any meaningful way without changing the values that drive it. Do you want to start living as a witness for Jesus in your everyday relationships? Then ask what values would drive that kind of lifestyle!
If we try to live for God or change a bad habit, that choice won’t turn into reality unless the values we have are right. We may stop the habit for a little while, or start something good for a couple of weeks, but after a little while, our life again begins to follow our values.
Most of us have seen this reality in our lives. You have probably made a New Year’s Resolution that you kept for the first month or two and then you reverted to your old ways. Why? Because you were trying to change an action but all the while your were not changing.
Here’s another example. Daily time with God is so important; we know that we should be taking this time. But so many of us struggle to actually do it. Why? Well, what are our values? Do we really value getting closer to God? Or do we place a higher value on a little more sleep, or that TV episode we have been dying to watch since the cliffhanger last week?
There is that saying “You are what you eat.” That’s true of your body but think about this principle on the spiritual level. You are what you think, aren’t you? That’s because what you think about ends up setting your values. What values are reflected in your thoughts and how are those values driving your life?
You want to learn to talk about Jesus with people you run into as you go about your life. If that is to become the way you live, then you need to change the way you think. It’s your turn to cook dinner, right? What’s in your mind as you go to the grocery store?
A SHIFT IN MENTALITY
Of course, you are thinking, “What do I need to pick up for dinner?” But what if you were also thinking, “I wonder who God will bring across my path at the grocery store? How can I speak into their lives? What will God do with me there?” Can you see the shift? All of a sudden your trip to the grocery store is not about you—it’s about the people around you! It’s about how God can use you in their lives to help them journey towards him.
That changes everything.
If that is what you want for your life, it’s time to work on the values that will drive that way of living. Remember, your life will not change unless your values change!
This blog starts a series of twelve blogs, focusing in on the lifestyle priorities that will grow you into a witness for Jesus. Your life is just the expression of your values, so if these values become yours, you will not have to force yourself to live as a witness. Rather, being a witness is what will just flow from your values.
Keep this principle in mind and look for our next blog post!