Whether you know it or not, there are a set of philosophies, values, and preferences that guide your behaviors day in and day out. These values will determine what choices you will make, what opportunities you will take, and what types of people you will choose to work with. In short, what you value will drive you.
With that in mind, after 33 years, I have finally come to the point where I am confident that I have identified the unique values that have been the driving force behind some of my best decisions, accomplishments, and breakthroughs throughout the years that I would also like drive me in the years ahead. It is my hope in sharing these values with you that you will be encouraged to invest some time contemplating and defining the values that will guide your life!
1. AUDACIOUS FAITH - I will aggressively pursue what only God can do.
From wholeheartedly believing the gospel, to getting married at 22 years old, to starting my own non-profit organization, to planting a church in the city of Oakland, my life has been and I pray will continue to be one that is marked by a great faith in the Almighty God. Though this type of faith has not always been present in my life, it is my intent that, from this day forward, I would live with a faith that believes that God can do things for me that I could have never hoped or imagined, faith that God can do things in me that I could never do on my own, and faith that God can do things through me that will have a lasting, positive impact on the world. This is audacious faith.
2. STEADFAST GRATITUDE - I will intentionally find ways to praise God for both my blessings and my burdens.
I can't say exactly when it happened, but at some point in my life God placed within me an acute awareness for the importance of expressing gratitude to Him during any circumstance. Whether my car was being purchased or re-possessed, whether my bank balance was very positive or very negative, whether my endeavors were succeeding or failing, I was convinced that God was still worthy of my worship. I believe that God deserves our praise, worship, adoration, and thanksgiving not because our circumstances are good, but because His character is good. It is my commitment to remain in awe of God's goodness, mercy, and grace in seasons of plenty and in seasons of lack. This is steadfast gratitude.
3. SELFLESS TRANSPARENCY - I will boldly prioritize truth-telling over image-protecting.
Very few things bother me like watching someone lie to protect their image. Very few things burden me like seeing someone live imprisoned by their inability to be honest about their faults, fears, and failures. Very few things break my heart like observing a community of people (especially Christians) being unwilling to relate honestly and openly with one another out of fear of what someone might think of them if they do. Though confessing sin, confronting offense, and calling out faithlessness may be uncomfortable, "The truth will set you free!" I am resolved to tell the truth about who I am and about who you are, regardless of the potential consequences. This is selfless transparency.
4. LIFELONG LEARNING - I will continually learn from others to exponentially increase my effectiveness.
Awareness and honesty about what you do not know and what you cannot do provides the motivation for living a life marked by continuing education. Whether it be from mentors, peers, or even critics, I believe you can learn from anyone. And with the amount of podcasts, vodcasts, books, and other resources that are available online there is no reason why everyone cannot become a lifelong learner. I will not stop learning until I am done living. This is lifelong learning.