What Do You Value

Recently, I had an online discussion with several authors about the question: what are important core values for a Christian writer?

Several were identified, including devotion to God, commitment to truth in life and in story, time with God—staying connected with him, honesty and integrity, discipline to take care of myself and to put my butt in the chair, and the desire or willingness to follow God’s call.

I agree these are all important values every writer—indeed every Christian—should cultivate. One jumps out at me today: time with God, staying connected with him.

It jumps out at me because, while I totally agree with it, time with God is the one area where I fall short of living out one of my core values.

Too often, time with him is tucked into a time slot where it’s convenient. Or, I skim my daily devotional and my scripture reading and my prayers are rote recitations done quickly—almost mindlessly—so I can get into what I think is important for my day. Yes, I spent time with him but it was meaningless because my mind was somewhere else.

I realize now that I need to stop and evaluate, I need to slow down, to strengthen this value so it really does reflect the core of who I am. I don’t want to put a time limit on it because then it just becomes another chore to be checked off the To Do list.

If I am going to live out this value, I need to break out of my comfort zone. I need to physically change locations, get away from routine and distractions, and take my Bible and sit with him for as long as he wants.

I remember a teacher, Jerry Savelle, saying he would stand on the edge of his bathtub so he wouldn’t fall asleep during his morning devotions. I need to be willing to get that radical.

A huge part of making him number one in my life, is making the time to sit with him and talk with him. Just as I make the time to write, I need to make the time with him.

How about you? What are your core values? How do you overcome the challenges that would prevent you from living them out?

8 Responses to What Do You Value

  1. Julie Marx July 25, 2012 at 6:03 pm #

    So many values flood my mind. At the risk of my answer coming across as lazy, I have to sum things up in one word. BALANCE–spirit, mind and body, which incorporate all the values mentioned in your blog and more. Without balance, I teeter (or totter).

  2. TNeal July 25, 2012 at 10:46 pm #

    Good illustration from your teacher’s life. The subject of a devotional life (which fuels a devoted life) seems to be a common struggle among believers. I’ve gotten better at putting prayer and Scripture at the front end of my day but could use some standing on the edge of my bathtub to help with a better early morning focus.

  3. Henry July 25, 2012 at 11:22 pm #

    Amen, Tom. Thank you.

  4. Connie Leonard July 26, 2012 at 8:52 pm #

    I value time with God. I begin each day exercising and singing praise songs to God. Then I pray and read my Bible. My response to my prayer and Bible reading becomes the daily devotions I write and share with ohters. After taht comes my fiction writing and networking that editors, publishers, and agents want to see.

  5. Henry July 26, 2012 at 9:24 pm #

    Thank you, Connie.
    He has to be the first priority or nothing else will work.

  6. Sue Watson July 28, 2012 at 2:38 am #

    I seem to need the discipline of a formal Bible Study with homework to keep me focused on what is important and what God wants me to do. When I am not involved in a Bible Study, my time with God seems to diminish. My values center around God and my family. I seem to sense a calling to teach-I’m a retired teacher- a women’s Bible study and cycle teach a Sunday School class. My other calling is working in a food pantry and ministering to the elderly. That’s what I sense God is asking me to do.

  7. Marney McNall August 7, 2012 at 6:06 pm #

    As you said, Henry, it isn’t always easy to concentrate and give God your undivided attention, though we might thoroughly want to. We just have to keep at it, working it like a muscle. I’ve been reading the devotional Jesus Calling and it is a good one for focusing on communing with Him.

  8. Henry August 7, 2012 at 6:31 pm #

    Thank you, Marney. I like the idea of working it like a muscle. We develop and strengthen our faith by working it like a muscle. And the same comes in our relationship with Him: I have to make Him a priority and exercise my time with Him.
    Thanks again. Blessings.

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