Whoever you are and wherever you fit on the United States Air Force team, you follow the same guide of the Air Force Core Values. Integrity first, Service before self, and Excellence in all we do. These are the Air Force Core Values. These Core Values exist for the purpose of uniting all members of the United States Air Force family whether officer, enlisted, and civilian; active, reserve, and retired; senior, junior, and middle management; civil servants; uniformed personnel; and contractors. When it comes to the core values no one is greater than the other. They are the common bond among all and they are the glue that unifies the force and ties them to the great warriors and public servants of the past. Therefore they are for everyone to read, to understand, to live by, and to cherish.
Integrity is a character trait. It is the willingness to do what is right even when no one is looking.
Service before self says duties take precedence over personal desires.
Excellence in all we do directs everyone to develop a sustained passion for continuous improvement that propels everyone as one unit into upward spiral of accomplishment and performance.
What would Jesus reply if he were asked for His core values based on the Kingdom of God for which He lives? After all if we knew what His core values are shouldn’t we adopt the same values, at least those of us who claim to be followers?
Well we are very fortunate because Jesus was once asked by a religious expert a question about what could be considered His Core Values. The audience anxiously awaiting His response is as instructive as his answer. The Bible reproduces the conversation, in Matthew 22:36-40. “Then one of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
To these men Jesus points to his core values, Love of God and Love for others. The Pharisees had reduced their faith to a system of actions and performance but Jesus reminded them that the heart of the Kingdom is relationships. There seems to be something in the nature of man that always seeks and attempts to define our relationship with God in terms of “What must I do?” Doing deeds gives us the illusion of control, it seems safer somehow than the uncertainties of a relationship as we know relationships.
Core values can be summed up with this phrase “a small set of key concepts and ideals that guide a person’s life and help him or her to make important decisions”. That is all there is to it, Core Values are a set of guiding principles in which to live by–key word “guiding”. Without a guide we are lost, when we attempt to figure it all out alone we do not consider how our individual decisions may affect the whole of God’s Kingdom our family. We become very much unlike Jesus who always checked with the Father before, during, and after any action. However when we alone determine our problems, even when we believe them so small they could not possible impact anyone else, anywhere on the planet we become concerned exclusively with self without regard for others.
THE IMPORTANCE OF CORE VALUES
__A. What you believe determines your behavior.
__B. What you value has a huge effect upon how you live your life.
Selfishness is concerned with self-preservation and protection. It literally cuts you off from the blessing of God because it keeps you from allowing Him to be God in your life. Instead, you crown yourself god and trust in your own abilities more than your heavenly Father’s. In addition, selfishness causes you to operate from a position of always wanting to take the advantage, rather than give the advantage to someone else.
All sin is selfish. It is impossible to be “in sin” without also being focused on your own needs and desires. Think about it. When you do something that goes against the Word of God, you’re not thinking about how others will be affected. You certainly are not thinking about how God feels about your actions, at least not enough to stop engaging in the adverse activity. If you are struggling with an area of sin, selfishness is in operation. That’s because all sin is based on the platform of self-exaltation and carnal gratification. From adultery and fornication to gluttony and strife, every work of the flesh has selfishness at its root.
Whether your realize it or not, the love laws are God’s “general orders” to the body of Christ. Jesus is our commander in chief. He has commanded us to first love the Lord God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength; and secondly, to love our neighbors as ourselves. When we keep these commandments at the forefront of our thinking and purpose to act on them whenever we get the opportunity, selfishness has no choice but to get out of the way!
Our core value in the Kingdom of God is Love, the link that unites us, to love you have to be in relationship. A true relationship is impossible without the presence of the one we love. If we start anywhere else be it Faith, Lordship, Evangelism, Discipleship, the vision or anything else will tend to turn our focus towards performance which leads us to religion and not relationship, to death and condemnation rather than life in Christ Jesus. Only love is able to keep you coming back to the throne of grace and there you will find the oil to light up the world that ALL may see just how good He truly is.