Everyone has their own idea of who they are and what they stand for. In their mind, they are the ultimate example of perfection. Always making the right decision. Never being offensive or rude. They are flawless. But who you really are is revealed when you go through difficult times.

Difficulty brings out whatever is inside. Just a water balloon under pressure will eventually break, letting the water out. These are the times that show what you really value. These can be defined as your core values.

I’ve heard several people speak about core values and the importance of clearly identifying what your core values are. Some core values may be a struggle for you – you realize the importance of it, but still need some improvement in being consistent. The key is being intentional. If you identify your core values, write them down, and remind yourself about them, you will be much more likely to stay true to those values during the difficult times.

One podcast I listened to, Coaching for Leaders, gave a sample list of values and character traits. This list can be narrowed down to help you identify your core values (note: this list is not comprehensive – you may have a core value that is not listed and that’s okay). It’s best to have a short list of 3-5 that are truly core values.

I have spent time this past week thinking about these and examining my own life. I have identified my core values here:

1. Gratitude

Being truly thankful for the things and opportunities I have been given is one of the most important values that I or anyone can have. There are numerous verses in the Bible that speak about being thankful for every thing and every situation.

2. Integrity

Proverbs 20:7 says, “The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him.” Honesty, morality, and ethics need to guide me through every step I take.

3. Faith

My faith is a great part of my life. Basics of my faith include Bible reading, prayer, church attendance, and sharing my faith in Christ. When Jesus saved me, He didn’t make me a part-time Christian.

4. Education

Education and continuous learning are a vital part of success. Joshua 1:8 ties success to meditating on God’s Word daily. 2 Timothy 2:15 tells us to study so we can be approved unto God. Not just learning the Bible, but learning in many areas of life – business, leadership, etc.

5. Relationships

My family is the most important thing after my relationship with God. Without my family, I would not be who I am. My friends and other relationships are important, but need to have the right priority. People are definitely more important than things.


Some other values that didn’t make the top five include: dependability, excellence, freedom, harmony, and responsibility.