Last week, I talked about the identifying your values. The next step is to examine and evaluate your values. You’ll want to make sure the list you’ve come up with reflects your true values. Then you can start to evaluate your life and begin living according to your values.
Examine Your Values
Now that you have your prioritized list of personal values, it’s time to examine these values closely. Are there any that you feel do not fit? Are there any you’d like to change? This can mean dropping a value, adding a value, or tweaking your priorities. Your values may change over time, so feel free to reexamine this list as needed.
After examining my prioritized list of values, I decided to drop 3 of the values I had listed leaving me with 10. Here’s the list of my top ten values in order of importance:
Paul’s Top 10 Values
- Faith & Relationship with God
- Devotion to Family
- Compassion & Love
- Curiosity & Wonder
- Contentment & Simplicity
- Fun & Youthfulness
- Prudence & Wisdom
Evaluate How Your Values Should Affect Your Life
Finally, it’s time to consider how your specific list of values should affect your life. If these are the things that are most important to you, how should they guide your decisions? You might feel like you’re not following your values very well at this point in your life, but you have the ability to change that starting now.
With your list of values in hand, you can evaluate each decision with intelligence and confidence. You just have to ask yourself: What should I do in this situation if these are my guiding principles in life? Apply this method to every area of your life, and you’ll see your actions becoming more aligned with your values. As your situation changes, you might need to revise your values. Adapting to changes in your life will be crucial to your success in accomplishing your goals and living with integrity.
Now that you have your list of personal values, you can proceed with evaluating and planning your personal finances. These values should help you in making the necessary decisions about your goals, priorities, necessities, and the things you’re willing to sacrifice. All of these are important in reaching a financial future that aligns with your values.
This entire process is especially important for Christians. We must strive to live according to the example we have in Jesus. Our values should reflect that fact – and our lives should reflect Godly values. From my list of values, I can see some areas where I am following God closely and others where I need to make improvements.
Life as a Christian is about denying yourself – your wants and desires – and following God’s will instead of your own. How do your values align with God’s will for your life? And are you living out those values in your day-to-day actions? Remember that becoming like Christ does not happen overnight. It’s a process – a lifelong process. And we won’t fully attain the goal until we are reunited with Him in Heaven.
Now it’s time for you to share your thoughts on this process of identifying and examining your values. Did you find the process helpful? How would you improve it? Did writing down your values open your eyes to areas of your life that are not congruent with your values? Share your thoughts and stories in the comments and let us know!
Thank you very much for this material! Having well-defined values in this way is essential for Christians to live with purpose. I enjoyed reading this series on values because a lot of financial blogs talk in terms of “goal-setting” for the sake of achieving goals rather than determining if these goals are aligned with one’s values and Scripture. I’m bookmarking this post. Great job!
K. Kellogg really touched on the heart of your message, on values, when stating, “Having well-defined values…is essential for Christians to live with purpose.”
How many people have we known who’ve, as they’ve neared the end of their lives, begun to question their purpose on this earth and had difficulty with the exercise?
Defining our values will help solidify our purpose in life. Is there anything more sad than a man or woman without a purpose?
@ K. Kellog: Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I’m glad you enjoyed the series. As Christians, we know our purpose is to honor and glorify God. But defining our values and comparing them to God’s helps us examine our lives to see if we’re fulfilling that purpose. Without this process, we’re living without focus on loving God. I’m sure it’s still possible to honor God without constantly thinking about your values, but it definitely helps keep our eyes on Him and prepare ourselves against temptation and the schemes of Satan.
@ Steven and Debra: I always enjoy your comments! The unexamined life will most always lead to that feeling of “Where did the time go and for what?” at the end of life. If we’re always living to meet someone else’s standards – the world’s standards – we’ll miss out on God’s plan for us and be left with “I wish I had…” later on. Who wants to die saying “I wish I had…”???
im working on my values and re evaluate them because im native they say that our values stem from the 7 grandfather teachings