but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.(Romans 12:2) Leaders have the opportunity to work with and lead many people for good or for evil from varying backgrounds and many different belief systems. Clearly the Bible tells us that although we are in this world, we are not of this world and are not to conform to worldly standards. It also tells us that we are the salt of the earth (Matthew 5:13). Therefore, we are to influence others with Kingdom values and principles and not be swayed by worldly persuasions. Far too often, Kingdom citizens allow themselves to be led away by fleshly desires and are tempted to become a part of a world system that is destined to fail.
Values are a person’s ideas about what he or she deems most important in his or her life. A person’s values will lead him or her to decide between right and wrong. It will serve as a basis for your ethical standards of living. It is a person’s values that serves as behavioral standards that drive and support their purpose and vision. As children of the Most High God, it is imperative that our values be Kingdom based. There is a saying that ‘actions speak louder than words.” This statement is so true because if we take the time to look closely we can determine what a person holds to be valuable and true based on their actions alone. Although a person says, “I love you”, the fact that they constantly abuse and berate you says that they really don’t love you. A person’s outward actions and behaviors are most often driven by a silent force behind many of your actions and decisions. That silent force is their values system.
Since we are assigned to take dominion over the world systems, we must have a conviction about who we are and whose we are. We must also know what our purpose is and never lose sight of it. We must also understand that the kingdom of darkness, the world system, operates contrary to the Kingdom of Light and how we choose to operate in it …our decisions and actions must align with the Kingdom of Light. Where the world says there is no more grace and forgiveness for our brother’s actions, we must be prepared to forgive and cancel debts (Matthew 18:21-27). Where the world may value one person over another, we, as Kingdom leaders must recognize the value of the gift God has placed within each person. (Psalm 139:14)
Hence, it becomes very important in our leadership roles to go through a process of values clarification. Sometimes God will allow this to come about through circumstances and situations when we have to actually sit down and allow the Holy Spirit to work in us to illuminate any dark areas and then through obedience allow Him to perform His good work in us. Values clarification is a hidden culprit behind many ethical issues that occur in various organizations and ministries that lead to downfall. In our leadership roles, values clarification is important to self-improvement for personal success as well as in leadership of and interactions with others. David was at a point of values clarification when he wrote Psalm 51.
The goal of “values clarification” is for us to become fully conscious of our influence, and to explore and honestly acknowledge what we truly value at any given time in our lives. You can be more self-directed and effective when you know which values you really choose to keep and live by as an adult, and which ones will get priority over others.
In this process of clarifying your values follow these steps:
1. Identify and rank at least five areas that you consider important to your life and well-being. Is it a deep relationship with God? Is it having control over your life? Is it having committed followers?
2. For each value list what it would look like. For example, having committed followers may “look like”
a.) having followers who go the extra mile
b.) having followers who don’t grumble or complain
c.) having followers who “think outside the box”
3. Decide what specific steps you intend to take to see these things happen for example.
a.) seek godly counsel
b.) choose someone who serves as an example where you want to be in your life
c.) choose someone who can be objective without fear of compromising a relationship with you
In the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon was at a point of values clarification and so will we as followers of Christ be given opportunity to clarify the things that really do matter in life…those things that are eternal. We will be more effective as leaders in building ‘true’ followers. We are to always ask ourselves the following questions when making decisions: “Is my decision outside the boundaries of scripture” and secondly, “What is the wise thing to do?”
Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. (Matthew 5:13)
I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. (Psalm 139:14)
While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. (II Corinthians 4:18)