Your Core Values

Your Core ValuesThe person you are is an expression of your core values. They determine how you think and what you do. They shape your purpose and determine your vision. They establish your character. In fact, they are extremely important to who you are.

Knowing what your core values are and managing them will provide a huge reward.

What They Are

Values are those underlying assumptions and core convictions that shape our actions and decisions. They are your beliefs, your frame of reference, your grid, your perspective, and your mental wiring. They change rarely, even in adversity.

Fact: a conviction held by most people based on significant evidence.

Principle: a deep, enduring conviction held by many people as a true means to an end.

Belief: a conviction held personally through trust or faith.

Values: the constant, passionate core beliefs that you hold, even in adversity.

A fact is held to be true based on evidence. When new evidence is presented, the “fact” may change. A principle is held to be true by many people. A belief is a personal conviction and is held as strongly as someone’s faith or trust allows. But a core value is yours personally and deeply.

Beliefs and values are not necessarily true, even though that are strongly held convictions.

Where They Come From

A person accepts a fact or principle because they are deemed to be true. When that fact or principle becomes personal through experience or by choice, then it is a belief. Only the highest and strongest beliefs become values – and they are held to be true even in adversity. The top three or four values are considered your core values.

Young people and children accept facts and principles from others readily. Their ability to discern good and bad is undeveloped and they take it on face value. Adults can be surprised at values they hold which are traced back to their youth.

Personal experience is a great teacher. When someone learns a lesson through experience their conviction becomes a value. For instance, the value of safety may come from a scary experience or a traumatic accident. The more painful the lesson, the greater the strength of conviction.

Why You Need To Know

Your core values affect your life in both dramatic and subtle ways. When they are based on truth, they are your most important guiding tool. When they are not based on truth, then they disrupt your integrity. Many problems related to spiritual, emotional and physical issues have their root in a conflict between the values a person holds and what they want for their life. That conflict manifests itself in many harmful ways.

Ephesians 5:17 says: “Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” That means we are to understand truth from God’s perspective, and to put off the foolishness of our own interpretations or assessments. The two steps in the process are to 1) know what you believe, and 2) test that it is true according to God.

Identify Your Values

Link to Core Values AssignmentDownload the Core Values Assignment and consider what you believe to be true. This assignment is relatively easy, and most people can complete it in less than an hour. You can begin by listing the values you have, and then making a note about the lesson or conviction that is assigned to that value. For instance, you may value “family” and this lesson might be from receiving help from them when you needed it most. Another example is that you value “honesty” and this lesson came from a highly respected person in your life that modeled it for you.

The second page of that download is a list of values that you can select from. It is not intended to be an exhaustive list, but just something to get you thinking in the right direction. Select from that list, or use it to come up with other values that are more important to you.

Link To Core Values EvaluatorDownload the Core Values Evaluator to help you prioritize your values. This exercise assumes that you know most of your values, and wonder how important each one is to you. This is a great exercise to focus your character. The instructions are fairly straight forward – you will list the values you hold and then compare each one with each other until you have determined the most important value, second most important, and so on.

Living Your Purpose

Your core values represent your unique wiring, the unique ways God has shaped your views and approaches on life. Knowing your core values helps you understand how God has prepared you to live according to your purpose. It is the key to living an integrated life and leads to wholeness, spiritually, emotionally and physically.