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What truly matters

What truly matters

What truly matters

9 July 2017

What do your actions and attitudes say about the values you profess to hold?

By Commissioner Floyd Tidd

A word of godly, grandfatherly wisdom lingers in my mind these days. “The measure of a person is not so much a matter of the value of their wealth, as much as it is a matter of the wealth of their values.”

Values can be defined as important and lasting beliefs, or ideals of an individual, or shared by the members of a culture about what is good or bad, desirable or undesirable.

The values of an individual, a group or a movement, regardless of what may be written on a wall, are truly read through the attitudes and actions of the individuals as a part of everyday life.

Decisions we make, responses we give, allocation of time and resources, the way in which we interact with others, all reflect a set of values.

Have you stopped recently to consider what matters to you? What you value? What would others who share life with you say are your values?

As we commenced the Australia One journey it was important that we took the time to consider what values would guide our approach to living out the mission God had entrusted to The Salvation Army.

How we undertake the work we do including our attitude, approach and actions, will be a reflection of our values; values that must be a reflection of the God whom we serve.

The values of The Salvation Army in Australia are based upon a recognition that God is already at work in the world. God raised up The Salvation Army over 150 years ago as an expression of his Church to partner with him in his mission to reconcile the world to himself in Australia and around the globe.

How we participate in that mission reflects our values as a movement.

The national Mission and Values Statements for Australia, released in November 2016, state that we value integrity, compassion, respect, diversity and collaboration. Each of these values are seen in the life and ministry of Jesus.

As Salvos across Australia live out the mission, guided by these values and committed to sharing the love of Jesus, Australia will be transformed one life at a time.

As individuals and groups, including ministry teams, committees and boards, let us check regularly our alignment with the stated values. Regular reflection both personally and as groups will ensure that the how of our mission delivery is true to our values and our identification as a Christian movement.

Let me encourage you to join me in an exercise. Develop a set of questions both for personal and group reflection to “test” alignment with our values.

These questions can easily arise from the descriptors following each of the values. Integrity – being honest and accountable in all we do Compassion – hearing and responding to pain with love Respect – affirming the worth and capacity of all people Diversity – embracing difference as a gift Collaboration – creating partnerships in mission.

Let us be careful lest we become so busy with what we do in our mission that we miss the importance of how we live out that God-given mission. Could it be that the measure and the future of The Salvation Army is not measured so much by the value of our wealth, but rather by the wealth of our values?

Commissioner Floyd Tidd is National Commander of The Salvation Army in Australia

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