From reading Psalms to Chazown by Craig Groeschel, I've realized that each person has individual gifts and talents that God has a specific purpose for. Some people have gifts that direct them to being evangelists. Other people have gifts than show them how to care for homeless or disabled people. God gives gifts and talents to other people so they can lead church congregations, or teach God's word in foreign countries. Or some are gifted to simply be outstanding Sunday School teachers, or magnificent leaders of small groups. This led me to ask: what are my core values? What do I want my life based on? Who do I want to be? What will I be known for?
Through Chazown, I've come to learn that my core values are: servant leadership, personal growth, passion, learning, discovery, and confidence. Allow me to explain what these mean to me.
One of my core values is servant leadership. This matters to me because I believe you cannot be a leader unless you are first a servant. Jesus illustrated this by washing His disciples feet and by saying "The first will be last." I enjoy doing the small things no one else does, like washing dishes, being a gofer, doing behind-the-scenes work, and picking up someone else's messes (okay, I don't enjoy that last one, but I still do it). I believe that makes me a servant leader, because a true leader is one who leads by example.
Personal growth is definitely one of my core values. I love it when God teaches me things! When I grow spiritually, everyone can tell. It's pretty obvious because it's all over my face and body language. You can feel a sparkling energy from me because I'm excited about what God's been teaching me and I can't wait to tell people about it and other stuff I've learned from God. This year has been a year filled with personal growth from me. You must be constantly growing and changing into who God wants you to be. That may sound tiring and boring, but it's such a thrilling, exciting journey! I will never skip out on growing closer to God. I believe that if you don't grow hotter for God, the only other thing that happens is you grow colder; thus, personal growth is an absolute necessity.
Passion. Ah, this one is easy! Passion, enthusiasm, excitement, energy, hunger. That describes me perfectly when I'm on fire for God. To put it simply, I want more. More God, more wisdom, more purity, more integrity, more knowledge, more righteousness. And I'll do anything to get it! To explain my passion better, I advise you read a recent post titled Get The Rush. I believe that if you aren't passionate about God, you should strongly reconsider whether or not you know and love Him.
Discovery sort of fits in with learning. I enjoy discovering things about God's word that I didn't know before. I like to see what the Bible has to say on certian topics. I love the adventure and thrill of finding new things, of unearthing astounding, mind-boggling, faith-shattering, or humbling, quiet, still, soft verses in the Bible. When I find something new that I like, I underline it with my pencil. If it's really special, I put a dot at the beginning and end of the verse or passage to highlight it and show that I loved that section. I believe that without discovery, God's word and God Himself become bland, boring, and irrelevant, but with the passion of discovery, He becomes an adrenaline-rush packed full of joyous, unending surprises!
Last but certainly not least is Confidence. This core value is one that I feel most personal with. It's been a part of me since I was born. Arrogance, cockiness, and pride are the negative cousins of confidence. Those are the three qualities that defined me when I was younger. It wasn't until this past summer that they morphed into confidence, extreme confidence. Part of it is the teenage guy false reality that "nothing bad would ever happen to me; I'm invincible!", but part of it is just plain ole' confidence. I have the attitude of "Why wouldn't I skydive without a parachute and try to land in a swimming pool and survive, Mom? If I die, I go to heaven!" That's just me. I love to be bold, say bold things, act boldly. Confidence enables me to take pride in my King and have the bravery, bravado, and boldness to fight for Him. I don't fear death, I don't fear pain, I don't fear failure. I only fear losing my passion and thus my confidence in myself and in Him. I believe that without confidence, life is lived in a self-made prison; you must be confident to live life, to fail, to do extraordinary things.
So those are my core values. Those are the principles that I live and fight for. God's teaching me to be kind, compassionate, and pure. I plan on adding those to my list soon enough. I need to be able to confront someone without being judgemental. I need to be able to feel for someone else's pain or understanding of their situation, even when I don't care about them or don't know them. I need to learn how to rid my body and mind of sexual impurity. That's what God's teaching me now. What are your core values?