I have a lot of principles, values, and priorities that I like to tell myself I live by. Things like honesty, loving others, being a good listener, integrity, authenticity, etc. Many of which are of course motivated by my relationship with God. However, I can say and proclaim as many of these things as I want until I’m blue in the face… none of it matters. None of it matters unless I’m actually doing these things, being true to them.. Now this sounds pretty harsh, even borderline religious or legalistic.
I don’t like lying to myself, I don’t like saying I am one thing, when really I am not. I’ll go as far as to say, if you call yourself a Christian, if you have a relationship with Jesus, and you’re not living out your values… then you’re probably experiencing some fairly stressful feelings and situations. I say this because every time I do something against what I value, I feel it, I feel the stress of being at odds with myself (normally by being grumpy, rude, mean to my wife). So, this is why I actually schedule my values into my calendar, so that I can live out my priorities, and nurture my values. In this structure I experience life, fellowship, friendship, love, knowledge, family, and all within balance. It’s freedom, even though at first it’s discipline, but discipline leads to freedom, trust me, I’ve lived it. Don’t lie to yourself.