Many people don’t realize it, but a person’s core values and their beliefs are often quite different. In fact it’s only when a person’s values and beliefs are in harmony does their life function the way it was designed by God.
We all have things we believe to be true. In fact, in Christianity we’ve learned several truths with which we agree. For example, we believe that Philippians 4:19 is a promise regarding God’s supply of our needs.
We may even face a specific financial need and quote that verse as a confidence builder, “For God shall supply all my needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” However, if our personal core value, in truth, is self dependency or self survival, the driving inner voice of truth is that survival is dependent upon our own wits and effort.
It’s true that having “a mind to work” and being responsible with what we’ve been given is a very important character quality. But, that’s actually very different than having self dependency as a core value in our lives.
It could seem like we’re playing with words here. Some may say, a person’s beliefs and values are the same thing. The truth is that that is the goal. Spiritual maturity is a process and is measured most accurately by how much harmony there is between a persons favored beliefs and the actual values that drive their lives. You or I may have many beliefs we agree upon as good and Godly, but it’s the heart’s core values that dictate how we feel and act.
This whole subject is the nitty gritty stuff real life (spiritual and natural) is made of.
Another example I used this previous Sunday was the fact that for years in the ministry I believed that it was my responsibility and privilege before God to protect and bless my wife. However, the reality was, that belief didn’t match my values and my wife got hurt terribly in the ministry.
What was happening? I believed the right stuff, but my personal core value was to “fulfilling my call as a minister.” Whenever there was a issue that resulted in pain for my wife, I felt bad about it. I didn’t like it. I sympathized. But, my core value governed my practical and emotional responses to her. Whenever we found our relationship in conflict with the “demands” of pastoring the people, my core value (calling as a minister) had a stronger voice.
Now, in the past several years, I’ve realized the truth. Protecting my wife and blessing her [loving her as Christ loved the church] is now a deep core value. That effects many ways I respond to our life together.
Finally, back to the core value of being a giver:
John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave…” “Giving” is the culture of heaven because it’s a core value of heaven. If I am endeavoring to see my own core values as a son of God match the core values and culture of my homeland, then my Core Value will be to be a giver. Not out of constraint, law, or pressure. Not out of obligation to the “rules.” But, in response to the qualities of the Kingdom of God.
On those lines, I can believe in giving being the responsibility of a Christian, but if it’s not my core value, I’ll continue to struggle with the whole issue.
So, what’s the solution…or the process toward solution? Step One. Admit to God that you have many beliefs that don’t match your true self values. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you into a life of values reformation. He will do it. In the process you’ll discover you’ll have to do two things.
- Discover your agreements with Heaven’s value system
- Embrace the challenges between your values and heaven’s values