January 16, 2019
Although our core values are hidden in the heart, they are not hidden from the word of God. “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions the heart, wrote the writer of Hebrews” (Hebrews 4:12).
God knows that it is in our heart we store our values. When infamous bank robber, Willie Sutton was asked why he robbed banks, he answered, “Because that is where the money is.” God looks at the heart because that is where the values are. “Out of the heart,” the Bible says, “precedes the issues of life” (Romans 7:18-20). Paul, in his second letter to the Church at Corinth, wrote, “Let each one do just as he has purposed in his heart” (2 Corinthians 9:7).
Jesus said, “For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. The good man out of his good treasure brings forth what is good, and the evil man out of his evil treasure brings forth what is evil” (Matthew 12:34b-35). The things that fill the heart are our values. The “good” treasure (values) produces good behavior; the “evil” treasure (values) produces bad behavior.
Can you say with the Psalmist, “Examine me, O Lord, and try me; Test my mind and my heart” (Psalm26:2). Will your core values stand up under God’s examination? Will your actions, driven by core values, withstand the fire of God’s testing? Paul writes that “Each man’s work will become evident for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire; and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s’ work” (1 Corinthians 3:13).
A law of nature states that no two things can occupy the same space at the same time. So it is with the heart. Our heart cannot accommodate, love and hate; joy and unhappiness; peace and worry; patience and intolerance; kindness and unkindness; generosity and stinginess; faithfulness and unfaithfulness; gentleness and pride; self-control and unbridled passion.
To live a harmonious life, you must first have a good set of fundamental core values. Then, you should allow those core values to become your Guiding Principles.