Val­ues pro­vide sta­bil­ity in life

>> On the hori­zon

Kyabram Free Press - - WEDNESDAY EXTRA -

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

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