What Do You Value?
Values! My dictionary defines values as “concepts of what is right, worthwhile…principles or standards.” We hear much about a return to traditional values. When that phrase is intoned without specific definition or example, I wonder what the speaker really means.
The prophets of Baal apparently valued popularity with the wicked King Ahab more than the traditional value of trusting only Jehovah. They had devalued the commandments of God and followed the newer foreign gods.
The people at large valued “going along to get along” as the easier way. When Elijah asked them to stand for either Baal or Jehovah, they “did not answer him a word.” (1 Kings 18:21)
Elijah valued loyalty to and trust in the one true God, Jehovah. He has been taught the commandments from his youth. He would not depart from what he knew to be right and true, even when he stood alone. He remained loyal even when it meant the possible sacrifice of his life.
The values of the prophets of Baal proved to be inadequate. They went down in bitter defeat. The values of Elijah cost him dearly, but his faithfulness was vindicated.
From time to time, most of us need to take measures to review the principles and standards by which we actually live as compared with what we proclaim we believe.
Often, strong self discipline is required to be a steward of values. What would you die for? What would you die for? What world you live for?
—Rev. Jean Richardson
- What is the chief aim of your life? What values have influenced this aim?
- What do you consider to be false gods in our time and society? Do you serve any of these gods? How ? Why?
- Were the prophets of Baal ignorant of the truth? Or did they know better?
- Why do you think they chose Baal over Jehovah?
How Do I Act?
- Analyze your personal monetary accounting system for the past month. Do you find anything there that illustrates your values? Begin making adjustments to this spending to better illustrate you values.
- Make a journal of how you spend your time and the hours spent on each item for one week. Are you satisfied with your stewardship of time?
- Study the budget of your church. What does it tell you about the things your congregation values most? Talk with the church’s finance or stewardship committee about your findings.
- Discuss the relationship between stewardship and values (Review the Confession of Faith statement on stewardship). List what values are explicit in this statement and which values may be alluded to.