WHAT ARE GUIDING PRINCIPLES?

January 23, 2019

When we speak of core values, we are referring to specific, focused beliefs or attitudes about something we prize or want. These core values guide our decision-making process when they become our guiding principles. Guiding principles describe how you act. For example, “faithfulness” becomes operative when you seek to be faithful, reliable and trustworthy. In saying, “I strive to be faithful, honest and trustworthy,” you state a guiding principle.

A set of guiding principles answers the big, “What do I do because I have these core values?” question. Guiding Principles are a personal code of conduct and the basis for making fast, consistent decisions.

Three Benefits of Guiding Principles:

By allowing Guiding Principles to govern our lives, they help:

  1. Lessen stress and worry
  2. Predict how you will act
  3.   Give the basis for making fast, consistent decisions. There is only one question to ask when confronted with any choice of action: Does it fit my guiding principles? Benjamin Franklin stated it this way, “We stand at the crossroads, each minute, each hour, each day, making choices. We choose the thoughts we allow ourselves to think, the passions we let ourselves to feel, and the actions we select to do. Each decision is made in whatever value system we’ve chosen to govern our lives. In choosing that values system, we are, in a very real way, making the most important choice we will ever make.” —Benjamin Franklin, “The Art of Virtue “(compiled and edited by George Rogers)

Where Do Guiding Principles Originate?

Core Values are the originating points and foundation upon which Guiding Principles are based. For the Christian, guiding principles come from God’s Master Values and are consistent with His revealed Word.

Core Value Affirmations

Core Value Affirmations are powerful statements about our priorities. Core Value Affirmations define more than what is important to us; they define who we are. Core Value Affirmations carry the “seeds” of our behavior. They help us see why we behave as we do. Godly values produce godly behavior. Worldly values produce ungodly behavior.

Guidelines for Developing Core Value Affirmations

  1. State each core value in the present tense.
  2. Make the statement positive.
  3. Write down the affirmation for reinforcement
  4. Be confident you can execute the value
  5. Make sure this affirmation supports your goals
  6. Be sure the affirmation is compatible with your other values

Many people are working toward goals that are at odds with their core values. Because they have never taken the time to discover their core values, they don’t consciously know what their values are, and they destine themselves to live empty lives. Even when they are “successful” in achieving their worldly goals, they find no cause for celebration; only a feeling of emptiness. People achieve real success only when they meet goals that align with Godly values.