Hebrew לֵב leb = heart

Proverbs 4:23 – “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

What’s at your core?

Right now when I think about “core,” I think about my weak core that the physical therapist feels is contributing to my hip problems. That’s front of mind for me right now because it’s going to mean exercise, and that’s never something I am dying to do.

So when I sat to write this article about our core values, I was struck a bit with how similar my thoughts about my core strength and my core values are. They are both something that I give far too little attention to, and that needs to change.

Our core is the combination of all that we think, feel, know, understand, perceive and believe. Today, we separate these into the heart and the head.

If you remember from last week, the dictionary definition even shows how the “intellect” has been disconnected from what we mean today when we say “heart.”

But when was the last time you made a decision (intellect) based at least in part if not in full on your emotions (heart)? Recently? Likely.

We just don’t separate our hearts and heads that much. Our dictionaries might say so, but I think it much better to think of ourselves as the Hebrews did.

The “leb” was all of them. It was their intellect, will, emotions, understanding, soul, innermost being. That one place was their whole being. And “leb” is translated as “heart.”

I challenge you to think of yourself in this way rather than as a head and a heart.

When we see our “heart” this way, we can bring GOD’s way to bear on how we examine and understand what’s in our “hearts”—our core values/beliefs.

God thought the heart a critical part of our being. It’s mentioned many hundreds of times in God’s Word. We should not overlook this importance. God is concerned about the condition and position of our hearts. We should be too.

So what is the condition of my heart? Am I accepting, closed, joyful, angry, content, bitter. What is the position of my heart? Am I open to accept God’s discipline, to want what He wants? Am I turned away from Him and wanting to have my way?

Our hearts are part of our choice for God. We have free will so that we can love God fully. God doesn’t want to make us love him; he wants us to choose to love him. He wants our whole heart — mind, emotions, will, understanding, soul, desires…all of it. A total surrender to Him.

Stinking hard in a world totally desirous of having the same part of us.

So what might our core values be? Have you considered this since I issued the challenge last week? What’s deep in your heart that’s guiding your actions and reactions, your words and silences?

We have to identify our core values. It is not something to ignore. If we ignore our values or if we have values that are detrimental to us or others, we will quickly find ourselves out of alignment. We will feel unhappy, maybe even depressed. We’ll be unable to live a truly abundant life.

And know that our core values can be selfish and self-serving. Don’t overlook identifying where you have some values that aren’t so nice to admit.

Our lives create all manner of expectations and beliefs in us. We can take, for example, a value like fairness, which seems good in itself, and make it about getting what we feel we deserve, which doesn’t seem so good in itself. To change any of that, we MUST be honest and get real with ourselves.

Here are just a very few examples of core values. (Please note that these are only SOME examples. There are hundreds of things that might be a value you hold.)

  • Autonomy
  • Authenticity
  • Balance
  • Challenge
  • Compassion
  • Determination
  • Fairness
  • Generosity
  • Growth
  • …. and on and on and on

Look online for “core values” and browse some lists of words that might help you land on the core values deep inside of you.

I find it helpful to write them out as sentences.

  • I believe that truthfulness is of central importance.
  • I believe that being our true selves is of utmost value (authenticity).

Friend, it is of great importance that you spend time identifying your core values. I am so not kidding. Our sense of contentment and happiness often rests on how we are aligning with our core values and on whether those values are actually healthy and Godly.

And so next week, let’s explore how we might align our core values for the best possible outcome in our lives and relationships? But first you have to identify them, so get working.

In Christ,

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Connie Benoit Sirois

Connie Benoit Sirois

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We are called to love others as ourselves. Our communication gives us continual opportunities to do this. We should never miss a chance to honor others. I’d love for you to read about my mission.

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