by Pablo Diaz
We all have values, whether we know it or not, but deciding what values will guide us through life requires great thought and prayer. These values will impact who we are and how we live, so it is best to be intentional when determining them.
When developing values based on biblical principles, Dr. Norman Vincent Peale’s booklet, Seven Values to Live By, can help you do just that. The booklet focuses on integrity, courage, enthusiasm, happiness, faith, hope and love. The last three are from the biblical text in the 13th chapter of Corinthians, “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
Living by our values can be challenging in a society that is always testing and tempting us. When you choose to live with integrity, there will be many situations filled with pressure to go against it. For example, if a boss wants an employee to lie on a report to cover up a bad financial decision, this would cause a dilemma, and a difficult decision would have to be made. The individual could lie and make the boss happy or do the morally correct thing—possibly anger the boss and even lose a job.
In his booklet, Dr. Peale wrote, “One of the best ways to strengthen your standards of honesty is to speak out against dishonesty wherever you encounter it.” Being a person of integrity could cost you a relationship, spouse, or, in this situation, a job. But in the end you would be a better person for it.
Our values are more than just ideas. When we stay true to them, they become our actions. The stakes are high but so are the rewards. It is not always an easy journey. There will be days when we fall short and need God’s grace to redirect us, but that’s okay. We are human. As long as we work hard to live out our values and do good in the world, we are better for it.
Lord, give us the wisdom to choose our values and the courage to live by them.