Have you ever written on a plain sheet of paper? Of course you have. You may start off writing on a straight line but after 3-4 lines, you may notice that they are no longer on a straight line.
Contrast that with when you write on a ruled sheet. You could write for as long as you want and
for the most part, your lines will stay straight because the lines were drawn before you started writing.
Similarly, have you noticed that when driving on a road with lines marked to demarcate the lanes, it is quite easy to stay on your lane? Now, you may have also observed how easily one may drift into the oncoming lane on an unmarked road. On such roads each motorist makes their judgement of how much of the road they should be on. The lines whether on a sheet or a road place boundaries that in some way confine us to where we should operate.
In life, values are like those lines. Values are predetermined and marked out rules of life. When you have set values, your actions are not dependent on the circumstance, rather your values dictate what you will or will not do in any given circumstance. When one lives without values, chances are that their responses or reactions, and consequently their behavior will be quite variable and dependent on the circumstance. And the consequences that follow are often undesirable.
In a nutshell: Values set the boundaries within which we "do live". Values shape our decisions and guide our actions. Godly values (integrity, honesty, respect, honor, excellence, faithfulness, etc.) ensure that we live according to the dictates of God’s word; not having to debate what we should or should not do. For example if you live by integrity, you live and act the same regardless of where, when, what or who’s watching.
How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping watch [on himself] according to Your word [conforming his life to Your precepts]. 10 With all my heart I have sought You, [inquiring of You and longing for You]; Do not let me wander from Your commandments [neither through ignorance nor by willful disobedience]. 11 Your word I have treasured and stored in my heart, That I may not sin against You.[Psalm 119:9 – 11; Amplified]
He who walks in integrity and with moral character walks securely, But he who takes a crooked way will be discovered and punished [Proverbs 10:9; Amplified]
To do: Some self-reflection – what are your values? Identify three core values that guide your decisions and actions.