Values provide stability in life
>> On the horizon
WE ARE called upon every day to make decisions, to make choices. Some we seem to do almost unconsciously and others require deeper thinking and are filtered through our value filter. We all have values, we all make decisions. What we decide to do is arrived at out of our values.
Values drive and direct behaviour. They are motivational — they give us reasons why we do things; and they are restrictive — they place boundaries around behaviour.
Karl Marx’s daughter, although she had no religious upbringing of any kind, once said to a friend, ‘‘All the same, I came across a prayer the other day, which I only wish were true.’’ Her friend asked her what that prayer was, and the answer came slowly and with wonder. She said, ‘‘It began like this: Our Father, which art in heaven ...’’
You can hear her thinking, ‘‘If only it were true; if only there was a God in heaven who loved me, cared about me.’’
The Arabs have a saying about the palm tree: that it stands with its feet in the salt water and its head in the sun. They often cannot drink the brackish water found in the oasis where the palm tree grows, but when they tap the tree and drink the sweet sap, it quenches their thirst.
Life can be harsh at times. To cope you need to be able to tap into the sweet sap, which is prayer, and draw strength from God. You can choose to spend your life with your feet in salt water and your head in the sun, grumbling about your lot in life, or you can choose to tap into the riches, strength, power and comfort of God.
King David demonstrated value-driven behaviour in Psalm 15 where he said the person who enjoys the presence of God and lives a blameless life is the one who ‘‘speaks the truth from his heart’’. Because this person values truth in his heart, his words express truth. Because he values kindness, he ‘‘does his neighbour no wrong’’. Because he values honesty, he ‘‘keeps his oath even when it hurts’’. Because he values justice, he ‘‘does not accept a bribe against the innocent’’.
Christians who are valuedriven reap a great benefit from the Lord. David said they ‘‘will never be shaken’’. Regardless of what may happen around them, they can live with full confidence that the right principles have shaped their values and have guided their decisions. That confidence will give them emotional and spiritual stability.
What values do you see as driving your behaviour? What values would you like to have drive your behaviour? Make it your goal to more completely integrate godly values into your life.
The decision is yours. The choice is yours. Captain Gail Roberts JP Salvation Army Kyabram