Friday, November 2, 2012

What Defines Our Values?

This past week I did some heavy lifting in a discipleship class I'm taking with some people from my church.  We read in our course materials that values are not only the things we find important, but are also deeply held beliefs which have the ability to influence the decisions we make and the actions we take.

As I was pondering this thought in my own life...and evaluating what values I hold most dear...I came across something that hit me pretty hard. It's a quote by Darrin Patrick (pastor of Journey Church in St. Louis) and it talks about idols in a way that made me raise my eyebrows a bit:

"Whatever we place at the center of our hearts becomes the 'shaper' of our values and the primary director of our lives." | Darrin Patrick

This quote made me think, because it shed light on the fact that if we don't have God in his rightful place in our lives (center) then our idols have the ability to shape our values. If God is not the very core from which our other values stem, then something else is shaping the values which define who we are and the decisions we make. Yikes!!!

Like many other things, our values have the ability to glorify God, in the 1 Corinthians 10:31 kind of way, but if we're not careful they also have the ability to replace God and become idols which influence our actions and decisions. We need to be mindful and careful so we can avoid this. As we define and discern what our values are, it may also be helpful for us to think about what is shaping those values for us. Is it God or is it an idol that is taking his rightful place in the center of our hearts?

This is weighty stuff to think about for sure, but it certainly seems worthwhile to ponder, considering the role that values play in our lives.

Here is a resource that I have used over the years to help me remember how slippery the slope of idolatry can be. If you find some time, I'd love to hear your insight on this subject.

Growing in Truth Together,


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