and ramblings on everything in between
I stumbled into a new church this past weekend because they recently opened up and I’m always curious about what other churches have going on. Since they are so new, they started a new series the first of the year to discuss their core values in-depth.
I wish I could give proper accreditation for this idea, but I didn’t realize at the time that I should have written the guy’s name down when the pastor mentioned it in passing. But nonetheless, he recently listened to a radio interview on core values and challenged us to think about what we believe the key to life is.
My first response was love. Loving others, loving yourself, loving the world we live in lends itself to a good life, right?
Others’ first response was money. We need it, we spend a lot of time trying to make it, money creates a comfortable and tolerable life, right?
And others’ first response was happiness. If you’re happy, you’re probably living a good life, right?
But this fella, who’s name I wish I had written down, argued that good values are the key to life. Whether we are people of faith or not, our life can be greatly enhanced by living according to good values. Love can cause us to do crazy things and chase after fleeting ideas. Money can buy us temporary fullfillment but doesn’t satisfy all our needs. Happiness can be self-serving and lead to impulse decisions that put us on the wrong path.
Living according to good values, however, means we react according to those truths instead of our feelings. The pastor used this as an example: you and your dog are walking by a pond. Your dog jumps into the water and starts to drown. As you run into the water to save your dog, you notice a man is drowning, as well. Your feelings will tell you to save your dog, but your good values will tell you that a human’s life is worth more than an animal’s life.
I am definitely guilty of reacting according to my feeling-of-the-day for whatever day of the week it is instead of making the tougher decision to follow my values. We want whatever we want when we want it. That’s a battle we’re up against every day. But if we take the time to think about what we really value in life, and run our decisions through that filter instead of how we feel in that moment, we’re apt to make wiser decisions in the end.
I liked the pastor’s challenge to think about what I value and put it into words so it becomes the core of my life. Intentional living is a topic that has been swimming around in my head for awhile. I hope to further elaborate on this in a future post, as I know these two ideas go together hand in hand.
Perhaps the start of 2015 is a great time for you to think about your core values. Set your resolutions, your goals, your aspirations according to those versus your feelings at the moment, and then see if you’re more apt to stick with them.
Let those good values be our focus for giving the most we can in life.
Image credit: Ahmed Soliman, 29625425, 123rf.com