“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” Colossians 3:12-14
Our values define how we live out our life. If we value fine dining, we will be inclined to splash out on luxury food rather than fast-food takeaways. If you value fitness you will find it easier to get up early in the morning to fit in a workout. If we value generosity, we will be more willing to give abundantly to those in need. If you value your relationship with God then you will invest in it and prioritise it.
As we start out this new year by resetting through prayer and fasting it is important for us to reset our values. Fasting is a time of giving things up, of casting aside distractions, of putting away bad traits so that we can free up space for the Holy Spirit to speak to us. We must align our values with the things God values. We must strive to walk with integrity, valuing that as far greater than wealth or earthly achievements. Fortunately, we are not left to guess at the characteristics that God values. Through the words of His holy scriptures, He makes it clear what values we need to put on as we strive to grow closer to Him through this season of prayer and fasting.
We are called to value compassion, humility, meekness, patience, forgiveness and love. Those are not necessarily characteristics that the world around us will always value and reward, but they are the traits that God values, so we must value them too. As we fast from the rhythms of the world, may this be a time of putting on compassion like never before, asking the Holy Spirit to help you see people around you the way God sees them, with eyes of love. Let this season be a time when you seek to grow in humility and meekness as you fast and chose a simpler, more stripped-back way of life for a season. Allow the Holy Spirit to teach you to patiently wait on God’s timing as you pray boldly through this fast. Remember the forgiveness Jesus made available to us through His death on the cross and consider who you need to share that forgiveness with. Above all, be intentional about choosing to love. As we continue to pray and fast ask God for help in resetting your values so that love for Him and love for others becomes what you value most.
Ask God for help in resetting your values to bring them into line with the things He values. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes to your blind spots and help you identify any of these characteristics you specifically need to grow in through this season of prayer and fasting.