“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Values. What are they? Does everyone have them?
Depending on your belief system current values may collide with someone else’s perspective or interpretation of their convictions or beliefs. Values vary from the context of Philosophy, science, education, political party, culture or religion. It is the personal worldview of every living individual.
But what is a worldview? It is one’s congregate collection of convictions and presuppositions from which a person tries to understand and make sense of the world around them. “It is a conceptual scheme by which we believe and by which we interpret and judge reality.” It is an explanation and interpretation of the world which leads to a personal application of this perspective as it applies to one’s life. It is here one finds a foundation whereby they begin to build their life.
A worldview starts with a presupposed assumption based on what a person hears or sees whereby they assume their experiences to be the truth. Thus this truth ( assumed reality) is accepted without challenge, clarity, or any supporting evidence from other resources or instruction. On one side of the worldview spectrum is where the secular humanists reside who believe that man is his own savior, who, with the help of science, will attain sufficiency through self-formation and self-transcendence.
On the other side of the spectrum are those who believe in Jesus Christ as their savior, who believe that man is created in the image of God and is the ultimate source of truth. It is upon a personal relationship with Jesus Christ that assumed truth (secular humanism) is replaced with and by a redeeming savior who represents ultimate truth.
- 55% of people with post-graduate degrees believe in the devil
- 53% believe in Hell
- 72% believe in miracles (those with advanced professional degrees)
- 78% believe in the survival of the soul after death
- 78% believe in the survival of the soul after death
- 64% believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ
Even among those Christians recently surveyed there are distinct differences in their values and Christian worldview. There are common misconceptions about a variety of topics. One of the biggest dilemmas facing Christian teens today is how to handle the pressure to drink alcohol. The issue of drinking continues to be debated among Christian denominations where some abstain while others recommend moderation, and this debate can create confusion for Christian teens. We live in a world where sex is seen in every medium and condoms are being handed out in school. What is a teen or new believer to do when confronted with conflicting advice about what constitutes a sexual activity or abstinence?
Christian values are based on God and the work of Jesus Christ. The most important Christian value is for a Christian to treasure God more than anything, anybody, or any idea. Christian values are based on spiritual things rather than material things. Even though Christian values are spiritual in its very nature, the evidence of these values are revealed through actions and deeds.
What distinguishes the Christian worldview from other worldviews?
At the heart of the worldview value discussion is that a Christian worldview contrasts with competing worldviews in that it:
- Recognizes that God is the unique source of all truth.
- All truth relates back to an understanding of God and His purposes for this life and the life hereafter.
A Christian worldview provides a framework to understand the world from Gods perspective to live one’s life according to God’s will. When we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior we are a new man. We take on Christian values because a new man is formed out of God’s righteousness. Righteousness as a Christian value means we are in right standing with God because of Jesus’ act of salvation. Our relationships with people and God changes because our new Christian values has changed us.
Exegesis Matthew 6:19-21: Values-The Meaning of Significance
19: Don’t collect for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust
destroy and where thieves break in and steal.
20:But collect for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where neither
moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don’t break in and steal.
21:For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Here we find the contrast between treasure on earth and treasure in heaven for we are not to covet the wealth of the world. In verse 19 we discover ‘rust’ literally means ‘eating’ as in the corrosion of metal, but also in the gnawing of clothing by vermin. We discover in verse 21 that anything we treasure, to which has great value or affection are ascribed and we carefully protect, that we are not to lay up our treasures on earth as we (1) must not count these things the best things: we must not call them glory and (2) these things have no glory in comparison with the glory that excelleth. We must not continue to grasp or covet an abundance of these things as we are choosing for ourselves and not concentrating on the needs of others.
There is good reason we should not look upon material things on earth as treasure, because they are liable to be lost or decay. It can lead to corruption. The higher the stakes are financially the more likely personal integrity will go out the window. Seeking corporate positions, financial gain, recognition, material possessions, for the wrong reason and at the expense of others, can lead to a loss of personal integrity as we will sacrifice our values to gain what the world has to offer. How can we know when we are inappropriately “treasuring” possessions? Verse19 suggests one very important answer-when we accumulate that which is not being used and hence will be in danger of becoming moth-eaten (garments) or corroded (precious metals). There is another answer found in verse 21. Even when one does not amass unused surplus, one’s material possessions may be considered “earthly treasures” if they demand one’s steadfast allegiance. Instead followers of Christ should set their affections on and strive after spiritual treasures.
As we evaluate our personal value system Jesus reminds us that anyone who desires to be a follower of Christ must crucify his or her desire for success, power, prestige, and self-righteousness, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you prove what the will of God is, that which is good, acceptable, and perfect.” Based on Romans 12:2 should scriptural values persuade and influence one’s leadership abilities within an organizational context?
Can scripture influence organizational leadership?
The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:3-12) provides wise counsel applicable in life as well as the boardroom. The first Beatitude addresses the most prominent challenge in leadership of being humble. The second most important challenge that leaders face is addressed by the second Beatitude, and so forth. Yet these Beatitudes should be read as one, inseparable, timeless application:
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Verse 3 instructs Christians to avoid pride and to see themselves as being empty. For an empty cup has more room to hold more. As Rick Warren states in his masterful book ‘The Purpose Driven Life’ we must realize it is ‘not about us.’ But, as Robert Greenleaf stated in 1977, more leaders should emerge as servant-leaders. A humble leader shows respect for all people and should show respect for everyone in the organization. Humbleness of spirit is important for an organization to meet its mission. A humble leader places the goals of the organization above their own goals.
Being humble does not mean an organization cannot be profitable nor should stay out of the limelight. Take for example the success of Chick-fil-A. According to Mark Faulk, management advisor of Chick-fil-A corporate headquarters in Atlanta Georgia, he stated, “This is the secret to our success…doing business is not simply about earning money, but what’s more important than generating revenues is to let Chick-Fil-a become faithful managers in glorifying God, and positively influencing those who Chick-Fil-a comes in contact with.”
In other words, their mission and purpose is to be a company that glorifies God, and bring positive good to people by striving towards their ideal set after biblical principles. According to Faulk,
“By not operating on Sundays we respect the faith of individuals so that everyone can get closer to God and become renewed in body, mind, and spirit. Some would think we miss out on huge revenue on Sundays but compared to the grace and wealth received from God, those lost opportunities are nothing.”
Applying Biblical principles into corporate management can be implemented successfully.
From a Christian Perspective
To develop an effective organization leaders must begin by setting aside the culturally conditioned “natural” instinct to lead by push, particularly when times are tough. Leaders must instead adopt the unnatural behavior of always leading by the pull of inspiring values. To become an effective value based leader their attitude must change about their influence upon followers and that moral leadership , by definition, cannot be situational or contingent. Thus treating people with respect is what value based leadership is all about, and nothing could be harder. But when there is organizational or social necessity for change, nothing is more practical.
About the author: Michael B. Russell, MA, MBA, DSL, MLIS is a 30 year Licensed Consulting Agent in the Religious and Non-Profit sector conducting seminars and workshops on current liability issues facing these sectors. He holds a Masters in Communication and Research from the Fullbright College, University of Arkansas; an MBA from the School of Business and Technology, Webster University, St. Louis; and holds an earned Doctorate in Strategic Leadership from Regent University, Virginia Beach, Virginia. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 479-268-4471
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