Many people sincerely want to live godly lives. But we can have conflicting ideas of what that means. We want our behavior to reflect our devotion to God but often it reflects more our attachment to the world. So we work hard to change our behavior… and find that difficult to do.
It is often said, and I believe accurately so, “Values drive behavior.” What if we stopped trying to change our behavior and instead focused on changing our values? Might we then achieve the behavior we sincerely want…one that reflects our devotion to and love for God?
Worldly values (our sin nature) include wealth, power, pleasure, fame, vanity, status. Notice each of these values are focused on me… not Thee (God). These are the most important things to people who perceive no power or purpose beyond themselves. Worldly values promote behaviors of jealousy, resentment, conflict, greed, anger, revenge, superiority…
Biblical values, godly values… are often the opposite of worldly values: kindness and respect for people instead of power over them; humility instead of status; honesty and generosity instead of wealth; self-control instead of self-indulgence; forgiveness instead of revenge.
Christian values drive behaviors that promote love and peace among people in line with the purposes of God. We will never achieve perfect behavior in this life, but those who strive to build Christian values into their lives will find that their behaviors begin to match more often their desires to live godly lives.
What are my values? Have I ever really taken the time to consider them? Where did I get them? What am I willing to do to change my worldly values to godly values?
When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these… But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! – Galatians 5:19-23 (NLT)
Dear Jesus, help me to value what you value. Teach me your values and may the Holy Spirit produce those values within me. Help me to choose love over hate, forgiveness over revenge, purity over impurity, generosity over greed. May my behavior truly reflect the One in whom I believe.