A System of Values


Last Thursday I finished a 7 week Christian Fundamentals course, organised by Hillsong London and held at Kings College. The course itself was well structured and challenging but the most rewarding lesson was that of Values.

We all think and say we have certain values (such as Family, Helping the Poor, Physical Health) but putting your values to the test shows you who you really are. After all your Values dictate how you Think and in turn how you Behave. To define values is to state: What are the things or practices you hold dear, that are important and part of who you are?

To test your values all you need to do is answer three questions:
  1. Time - How much time do you spend?
  2. Money - How much money do you spend?
  3. Action - Do you do what you say you're going to do?
Let's put a value to the above test: Physical Health
  1. Time - I never go to the gym, I don't play sports, I barely go to the doctors but I do walk and dance a lot.
  2. Money - I barely take vitamins, I don't go to the gym, and with the exception of a toothbrush I don't own anything that benefits my health.
  3. Action - I eat like I have a bottomless pit for a stomach and I have a terrible addiction to biscuits (Custard Cremes being my favourite). I have been a member of three gyms in my lifetime, I even had access to several free gyms for many years - I can count how many times I've been to all of them collectively.
Result: I do not value my physical health.

Putting other values to the test such as Family gives you really unpleasant results whereas testing your career or money shows that you're actually focusing on the wrong areas of your life (at least in my case).

My Mother:
  1. Time - I live across an Ocean so I only see her once every few years. I call her maybe once a week - sometimes every other week.
  2. Money - I buy her a present for her Birthday and at Christmas, but not always.
  3. Action - When I do visit home, I barely spend time in my own house and I never come home for dinner when I say I will.
Result: Do I need to spell it out for you?

Career:
  1. Time: I spend most of my time working, if not working my day job (which is part of my career) I'm working on personal side projects on nights and weekends.
  2. I'm massively in Debt due to two degrees in my field plus money I've put into projects.
  3. Action - I ALWAYS follow through when it comes to work - often pushing friends and family aside.
Result: Shame

When looking at your Values one should note that there are two sets:
  1. Core Values: The Most Important which stay the same throughout your life - these should have priority when answering the above questions.
  2. Stuff Values: The Least Important which change throughout your life, also known as the Seasons of Change values - these should be secondary.
What constitutes as a Core Value?
Family, Friends, Generosity, Kindness, Church (if you're religious) etc.

Stuff?
Work, Money, Study (yep, it shouldn't stop you from the above) etc.

Of course everyone is different, their values are no exception - but put your money where your mouth is. If you say you are the type of person who values ____________ - put that blank to the test and see if it's true.

One final note before I get off my soap box (I do feel like I'm preaching here):

Objects were meant to be Used and People were meant to be Loved so why are Objects being Loved and People being Used?*


*I don't know where this quote is from but I like it.
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1 comment:

  1. Very interesting...will need to think about this some more. thanks for sharing! Now I don't need the class :)

    -Elizabeth

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