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Before we begin, let’s first agree on what values are about. Personal values are moral principles that define the very essence of who we are and how we act. They are a person’s standards of behavior; one’s judgment of what is important in life. Our values establish our importance to society, our worth in this world, and our usefulness to those things not of this world. At the most basic levels, we are told to categorize people by recognizing their value as human beings who are made in the image of God.

(Genesis 1:26-27) – “Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.’ So God created mankind in his own image,”

Because we are all made in God’s image, we have the capacity to reason, feel emotions, and make decisions that can impact the world around us. Values are those things that we will not compromise, will not debate, and direct our behavior. Values motivate us to do things, both great and small, good, and bad. For us to honor our God, values are necessary to become disciples of Christ. Values, however, are not necessarily permanent. Any repentant heart knows very well that forgiveness often takes a difficult decision and a change in values. “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.1from Robert Frost’s Poem, “The Road Not Taken” God, however, is accountable to no one. There is no higher principle to which God must conform. He himself is the “absolute of truth, beauty, goodness, love, and justice.” His perfect character is the essence of what the Bible calls “righteousness.” In a universe without God, what we call “good” would have no meaning and values would serve no purpose. This is important to understand. We do not belong here on earth; our citizenship is in heaven. Our time here is merely preparing us for what is yet to come.

(Romans 8:18) – “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”

Habakkuk was a prophet in the Old Testament. He struggled, as we all do, with the goodness of God. His problem, wicked people often prosper. Habakkuk, the author of the shortest book in the Old Testament, was wise enough to know that when you have a question or a problem with God, the best thing to do is take to God directly. So, he cried out, “Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrongdoing. Why then do you tolerate the treacherous? Why are you silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves?” (Habakkuk 1:13). Habakkuk’s complaint to God questioned why God was allowing the people of Judah to continue in their wickedness and injustice. When God answered that He was preparing the Babylonians as his weapon of judgment on Judah’s unrighteousness (Habakkuk 1:5-6), Habakkuk became even more indignant. Habakkuk argued that the Babylonians were even more wicked than the people of Judah; how could God use such a people to judge His own people? God’s response overcame the prophet’s objections. Habakkuk was confused by an apparent incompatibility between God’s character and God’s actions. God’s character and values are always perfect.

Our world will tell you that human values are formed through a complex interplay of various factors, including cultural, social, psychological, and environmental influences. This world defines human values as the beliefs and principles that guide our behavior, decisions, and interactions with others all within the experiences gained in our world. The error being made is that the perspective of experiences and interactions is limited to this world. Some values may even be more universal, such as the value of honesty or respect, others are more contextual and may vary across different societies and cultures. Our world will use this loose definition of morality as a crutch. Social Justice is one example.

God’s moral structures and values are built into the created order. The Bible affirms that even those who have not been exposed to God’s law have a conscience – a moral law – within them (Romans 2:14-16). God is not only revealed in nature but also in the human heart. There is a surprisingly uniform moral absolute in most cultures because God has placed His natural law, His moral law in our hearts. We simply cannot deny it. To attempt to remove God from any discussion on the source of values just doesn’t make sense. Personal experiences, both positive and negative, can shape a person’s values and beliefs. Even education and media exposure will reinforce values and beliefs. But removing God does nothing positive for the values (or lack of values) we see in society today.

(Psalm 15) – “Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent? Who may live on your holy mountain? The one whose walk is blameless, who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from their heart; whose tongue utters no slander, who does no wrong to a neighbor, and casts no slur on others; who despises a vile person but honors those who fear the Lord; who keeps an oath even when it hurts, and does not change their mind; who lends money to the poor without interest; who does not accept a bribe against the innocent. Whoever does these things will never be shaken.”

King David sums it up for us! It is the person who is in God’s presence, living a blameless life, speaking the truth. Leaders with Godly values shape their decisions around God’s principles. Look at the Bible from beginning to end, 6,000 years of authorship. You find a foundation of moral concepts such as goodness, love, and justice. God’s moral values are built into our created order. Even our sense of good and evil exist because God created the categories. You might know them as the “Perfect 10.” God’s list cannot be altered or replaced by humanity. Only God decides what is right and wrong and only God decides what is of value to His Kingdom!

(Galatians 6:7-8) – “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.”

Values are important in life because they form the foundation of our behavior, personality, attitude, thoughts, and decision-making. Values give our life a purpose which is to guide our actions, so they are in alignment with our beliefs. Values help us discover passions and purpose. What’s important to you? It’s a simple question, but one with profound consequences for how you live your life. It’s a question that gets to the heart of your values and guides your decisions. God would like to be number one on your list of values! He will help with those many choices along the way.


  • Where do you see society redefining its values?
    • Ideas to Explore: Education, Government, our nation’s justice system, business ethics, and the rapid increase in drug consumption and crime.
  • Are you someone who largely lives out their values, or if you are instead someone who does one thing and believes in another thing?
    • Ideas to Explore: Values can change as a person matures. Children’s values are different from someone who is approaching retirement. Have your values kept up with you?
  • If you act differently than you believe you should, why is that so? What is stopping you from acting the way you want to act?
    • Ideas to Explore: Peer pressure, jobs, and even family pressure can force people to behave differently than they want to behave. Where is the source of your values coming from? God? People? Media? Church?
  • Do you live a “values-driven life?” Does living by your values increase your sense of satisfaction with yourself and your life? Do you know your values?
    • Ideas to Explore: Will your values achieve your worldly and eternal goals? Are they aligned with our Creator who created you?


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    from Robert Frost’s Poem, “The Road Not Taken”