As I was preaching Sunday I mentioned having core values in our lives and how important they were to us in making decisions and getting through different seasons along life’s journey. I didn’t have time to expound much and folks at River Church afterward asked me what mine were.
Everyone should have core values. These are not a plethora of doctrines or a set of goals for life. Core values are those beliefs we hold for ourselves that we have decided are unalterable when it comes to the lives we live before God and people. Core values should be few in number otherwise you will find yourself living under a multiplicity of laws unto yourself that you can’t keep.
Let me explain what I mean by sharing with you mine. There are five that I have developed over the years and of which I apply to every major decision or changing of seasons I may face.
First is to love and obey God to the best of my ability and understanding.
…Love is not an emotion. It’s a choice. I have chosen to love God when things are good and to love God when things are difficult. I have chosen to obey God when I understand why He’s asking me to do something and when I don’t. When you make Father God first in your life, you come to understand He’s always leading you to something better in Him, no matter how many twists and turns the road takes.
Second is never to compromise on the person of Jesus Christ or the Word of God no matter what the cost is to me.
…As a minister I have decided I’d rather face the judgment seat of Christ knowing in my heart that I did not compromise on Biblical truths before men. In this day and time that will cost you when you choose to stand true to Biblical principles concerning Jesus is the only way to heaven, sexual immorality is sin whether its straight sex or gay, children are not a choice but rather a gift of God no matter how they come into the world, etc.
Third is to be true to my inner convictions while not judging others for not holding the same in areas of personal conscience.
…I have to answer to God for my beliefs and choices in life. You have to answer to God for yours. Romans 14 is a wonderful chapter on Christian liberty before God. It would behoove many a legalist not only to read it, but also apply its principles some times!
Fourth is kingdom government is the will of God for the Church and the five-fold ministry of Ephesians chapter four is to walk in authority FOR THE SAKE OF THE SHEEP and the sheep’s blessing, not their own.
…The true church is not a democracy but rather a theocracy with Jesus as her head. The government rests upon His shoulders. These are His appointed and anointed leaders. I want to follow anointed leaders, not puppets controlled by the vote of popular opinion or dyed in the wool, outdated traditions.
Fifth is my family is my first church. My wife is a type of the bride of Christ to me and I will honor her, respect her, and protect her as Christ protects His bride.
…By God’s grace I have raised two godly daughters and have been more than happily married for over 30 years. That did not happen by accident. It happened because I was intentional in the way I handled my home both privately and publicly. I will make life decisions based upon the spiritual, emotional, and physical health of my family.
These five core values affect everything about my life. When seasons and situations change, my core values do not. When times are good or when times are bad, my core values do not change. When I am faced with potential life altering decisions my core values keep me headed in the right direction.
These core values allow me to get up every morning, look in the mirror and see a man I can live with.