Pearls of great price
May 26, 2018
There used to be a TV program I loved very much when I first went to England in 1980s. A stranger would be taken into the house of the subject of study that week. The stranger was asked to describe the person from looking at their surroundings. Their career, hobbies, dress style, loves, hates…. Everything. Just walking into their space revealed the entire personality and life history.
Values work like that. They are the threads that define our character. The robe of many colors we carry around – and leave behind when we move on. The pieces of our heart that speak louder than our words. Do you value truth? It will be reflected in the way you insist on precision. The way you dress, walk and talk without exaggeration. Yesterday cannot be a few days ago. Ten days ago cannot be last week. 12.30 cannot be morning. You would rather disturb the smooth flow of conversation by clarifying, than find yourself fibbing. Do you love order? Even the arrangement of food on your plate will reflect this. Do you value people over money, or vice versa? Sooner than later, it will show. Our values are the pearls of great price that we are prepared to buy the whole field for, or reject the kingdom for. It is not your desires and concerns that define you. It is your values that define your desires and concerns. In the layers that make up any human being, their values are the yeast that touch every part of them, giving character to every choice.
Moses was supposed to have rejected the prize of princedom in Egypt once he got to know his true identity. I feel sure that a need for integrity had every thing to do with this. Abram left his kindred and home, to obey the voice of a God he had never seen face to face. The value he put on his relationship with God would have driven him. Time and time again, we see Abram choosing relationships and peace over things and prizes. What you value would dictate where you lead your life to and what you lead yourself into. My best friend’s mum is Cameroonian. She left home and kindred to come marry a Ghanaian. More than fifty years away from home, and she’s more Ghanaian than Cameroonian. The big one – love – can be the only reason for such a drastic direction. A friend was surprised to find out why people in a certain European country all seemed to wear dark colors and similar styles. A study of their sociology informed her that such is the deep love for fairness and equality in that country, that effort is made to ensure that no one stands out. And this has gone on for centuries. Yes, the values of equality and justice defined the fashion sense of a whole nation.
What do you value? Independence? Peace? Justice? Relationships? Power? Sensuous pleasures? Identify your values. Look out for them. Because your values are leading you. They are defining your choices on a day to day basis. What you value is what you will move towards. It is the object of pursuit and blinding light of your life. The value of human life, peace and order will reflect in a life of service. The depth of leadership commitment (whether personal or group leadership), is defined by the values held. Anyone’s future may be correctly predicted – if you know what they value. They will invest in their values, and they will move with it. So check your values. They become the man.