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  • Writer's pictureMark Alan Williams

4 Steps To Identify Core Values And Make The Best Decisions

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In 1994 I was leading a church that Carolyn and I had planted 13 years earlier. We had wonderful people, a supportive staff and had experienced significant growth. It was a great church, so why would I leave that stable environment to start a new church from scratch with no guarantees?

CC Image courtesy of Nina Matthews Photography  on Flickr

Because reaching new people through starting new churches was more important than the risks involved. We valued outreach more than security.

Identifying “Core Values” such as this has helped me decide when to make major life changes. It will help you also.

Unless we consider and identify our Core Values, we will waste time doing things we really don’t value and miss doing things we truly value.

Here are 4 steps to help identify and live in harmony with your Core Values: 

Answer these Strategic Questions

Here are some questions to help determine what you truly value:

  • To which causes do you voluntarily contribute resources of time or money?

  • Describe your greatest passion for life in one sentence.

  • What lessons have you learned about character?

  • What makes you scream or pound your fist on the table?

  • Think of two or three people you really respect. What characteristics do you admire in them?

  • If your home were on fire (and all the people and pets were safe), what three objects would you save? Why?

  • If you could change one thing in your community, what would it be and why? What would you change in the world at large?

Reflect on Past Experiences

Think of a time or experience that most satisfied or fulfilled you.

What made you feel that way about it? For example:

  • Loyalty

  • Respect

  • Faith

  • Family

  • Harmony

  • Happiness

  • Friendship

  • Success

  • Honor

  • Wealth

  • Self-reliance

Write your Top Core Values

Based on your answers to the questions above in point #1 and the values you listed in point #2, write your top Core Values. Consider what you truly value, not your current realities, which might need to be adjusted.

List 3 to 10 things you value the most.

NOTE: This article is based on one of the chapters in my eBook called Don’t Miss Your Life. You can get it for free when you sign up to receive my updates via email.

Reevaluate Your Priorities

Now reevaluate the investment of any resources (of time, energy and money) that are not aligned with your Core Values.

For example putting your job before your family can create a false sense of security and fulfillment. Yet it might eventually destroy your family. So step back, reassess and prayerfully choose another path.

Choosing another path might involve:

  • A new attitude

  • A new career

  • A new commitment

Examples: Some of My Core Values

As a Christian, my values flow from my faith and my life purpose. The Bible is my handbook for life, so I anchor each value with a supporting Bible verse.

Here are four of my personal Core Values:

  • FATHER – I live to please my Heavenly Father: A good day is when I do everything to please Him: “Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.” (Galatians 1:10 NIV)

  • FAMILY – I put my family before ministry and after the Lord: “If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?” (1 Timothy 3:5 NIV)

  • FAITH – I live by faith. I have a hopeful and optimistic attitude that allows me to get the most out of life by trust in Christ: “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.” (Ecclesiastes 9:10 NIV)

  • EXCELLENCE – I strive for excellence, which pleases God: “‘When you bring blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you sacrifice crippled or diseased animals, is that not wrong? Try offering them to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you?’ says the LORD Almighty.” (Malachi 1:8 NIV)

What are your Core Values? Please share them below either in FaceBook or the comment section of this blog (better option).

A Core Value You Mustn’t Miss

Sometimes people overlook the most important value—eternal peace.

Zig Ziglar used to say that you better take care of your eternity since after all, you’re going to be dead a lot longer than you are alive.

The Bible says, “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:1)

This article is based on one of the chapters in my eBook called Don’t Miss Your Life. You can get it for free when you sign up to receive my updates via email.

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