Do I Really Value…

I have many values in my life. I value God. I value my family. I value my church. If you were to ask me whether I valued world peace, orphans in Africa and the end of starvation and illness throughout the world, I would agree that they were values as well.

There is a difference between my first set of values and my second set. My first set is actual values. I invest my time, life and energy into those values. The second set is different, they are aspirationial values. I have nothing invested in creating world peace, have done little to support orphans in Africa, and have not done much to end illness or starvation.

Every person and organization has these two sets of values. Our actual values are defined by what we invest most of our time, money and energy into. These values range from the important such as family, God and work to the trivial such as video games, movies and vices. These values are not just positive things. An actual value is what you invest in.

As to the other set of values they are what we aspire to be. One can say they value health, but it is only aspirational if you eat junk food. You can say that you value Evangelism, but it is only aspirational until you share your faith.

As we “do church” I wonder what would happen if we defined our actual values and measured them against our aspirational values. As churches we say we value Christ centered fellowship, evangelism, discipleship, and love, but if we placed a mirror in front of ourselves would we see those values or would we see others.

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