Nov 14, 2018
Last week, I gave the first four steps to acquiring a new value:
- Identify the value you want to acquire. Be specific.
- Determine “why” your desire the value.
- Visualize the response created by the new value.
- Ask God to help you successfully internalize the new value.
This week covers steps five through seven.
- Begin to Do Daily those Activities the Value Dictates. Act to carry out the actions dictated by the value. Don’t delay. You are in control of your conduct and behavior. Throughout the day remind yourself of the godly value you have implanted and the resulting action it generates.
So, do what you value. If you want to love, love. If you want joy, be joyful. If you are kind, be compassionate. If you want happiness, be happy. The Bible says “whatever a man sows, this he will also reap” (Galatians 6:7). Every action you take bears a consequence, good or bad.
Live your life, day in and day out, according to these values.
Don’t give up. Don’t become discouraged if nothing seems to happen when you apply your new values. Instead, reserve judgment. Concentrate and stay focused on your goal to acquire the new values.
Once you claim a value and internalize into your value system, you will begin to act according to the value. Often, you will just have to behave in a way compatible with the new value. For example, if your current value system does not include “kindness,” begin to engage in activities of compassion. You could start by doing one kind thing on a daily basis. As you carry out these acts of kindness, your actions will be consistent with how you see yourself—a kind person.
- Recognize the potential for relapse and prepare for it. By nature, we work to maintain a sense of “normalcy.” This process is called homeostasis. Life retains the status quo. We feel uncomfortable attempting something new or different.
Also, the Christian faces a dominant force when he or she tries to live the life God has designed for them. God’s adversary, Satan doesn’t want you to replace your old worldly values with new godly values. He knows new values dictate new behavior. He will do everything within his power to convince you to return to your former ways. Even Simon Peter, after Jesus called him to be a fisherman of men and having seen the resurrected Lord, invited seven of his fellow disciples to return to their former ways with these words, “I am going fishing” (John 21:3).
So, you’ve identified a godly value you want to acquire, you’ve written it down in the form of a goal statement, and developed a plan for getting the new value, and are engaged in activities to reflect this value. Is that enough? There’s one more step you must take.
- Keep Your Eyes on Jesus. Expect and recognize the opportunity to change. Your desire to acquire a new godly value will meet resistance. The old value and the familiar conduct it generated don’t give up without a fight. The human system is designed to resist change.
Without God’s constant help you can slip back into your old ways. To make sure that you have a successful value transplant, keep your eyes on Jesus. God’s Word directs us to, “Fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2).