Missional Values ask the question: Why do you love God, love your neighbor and make disciples?
Have you ever been at work, or at church, or chatting with a friend and you realize that you just said or did something differently than you would do if you were someplace else? Maybe you realized that you truly value honest relationships in your personal life, but when you’re at work, you can’t seem to be able to share important truths about yourself. Maybe you are an incredibly invested parent, but you can’t seem to work up that enthusiasm in church. It can look a million different ways.
Our friend and partner on the Discipleship Guides and Quiz, Glenn Spyksma, shares his experience with incongruent values.
I went through this realization myself not too long ago. One of my values is “people development”, or wanting to see people become all that God intends for them to be. I felt like I was living this out at work but at church, I struggled to help people in this way. It wasn’t that things were different at work and church… my values were different. My values were in conflict with each other and I realized that I would find myself having to change my identity depending on the situation. This inspired me to really consider what my truest and deepest values were.
I began by looking back on my life and considering consistent themes (positive and negative). I thought about influential people in my life, circumstances that shaped me, events that encouraged new ways of thinking and behaving. Next, I identified lessons learned…
For example, one of my values is “people development”, or wanting to see people become all that God intends for them to be. At work, this was played out through training classes, mentoring, coaching, and creating a freedom for upward mobility driven by personal accomplishment. But at church I struggled to find a way to help people like I did at work. It was frustrating. I felt like I was able to live out my value of “people development” at work but not in my church. I was not living a life that was congruent. I was being authentic to who God created me to be at work, but not at church. It wasn’t that things were different at work and church… my values were different. I was not being true to myself. This caused incredible frustration because my values were in conflict with each other and I would find myself having to change my identity depending on the situation. I wanted to discover my life values; my true and deepest values, and then align them with my behavior in everything I did. But where did I begin? Self evaluation can be difficult. If you find yourself, like me, weighing what you truly value, start with your most important, clear behaviors. For me that came down to love God, love others and make disciples.
Do you also feel the need to clarify your values? Follow in Glenn’s steps:
- Begin by looking back at your life to identify themes, influential people, circumstances that shaped you, or events that encouraged new ways of thinking and behaving.
- Identify lessons learned.
- Identify values from these lessons
- Now take 5 minutes and go back through and reexamine if your values are things, you value or life values. Modify your list, as necessary.
- Create three columns by each of your values. Maybe start with the three you see as most important to you. This can be whatever you see as the main areas to examine your values in. At the top of a column write Church, Work, Home, Playing
Sports or whatever you see as three areas to examine your values in. Begin to examine how you live out each value in the three areas. This is only for you, so be truthful!
So what did you observe? How can you change your actions to be consistent with your highest values in all areas of life? Tomorrow, as you go about your day, be especially mindful of your new and improved list of values… you will be surprised at how it changes your day and makes you feel more at peace with yourself.
About Glenn: Glenn is a semi-retired Operations Executive formerly with The Wine Group. He has also worked with colleagues in the operations and engineering arena developing people and systems for large brands like Campbell Soup and Chef Boyardee among others. Glenn has always had one foot in the church and one foot in the marketplace. He is an avid church-goer and involved in church leadership.
Coaching Guides expand on the habits and are part of a follow-up Zoom call after you take the quiz.