Can we formulate life? Can we invent or discover a system that can guide us? Nothing is perfect. Only God is perfect. But we can venture within Wisdom and finds in it an ideal ally and companion for life. I am proposing that there are seven (7) key life virtues (“core values”) that can guide us in growing toward the goal of a healthy and fulfilling life that you seek to live now, and also leave behind a beautiful legacy. Combined, these core values form an orderly philosophy for personal growth and development. I am writing a book on this philosophy and its preliminary title is “What is truth?”
Wisdom is not simply the means for life. It is an end in itself. God is wisdom, as he is love, as he is truth, as he is light, as he is salvation, and as he is grace, among many other things that he is. We are told that wisdom existed before Creation. It was the first of God’s works. It’s it is the nature of God. Therefore, if we want to give meaning to life, we must see this as the key to everything.
We also need to know that acquiring wisdom requires a search, and a lifelong search! The depths of wisdom cannot be plumbed. As we search, we will keep finding more and more; much like the wealth of a certain resource in a mine. Using the mining analogy, we may need to employ various techniques to get to and retrieve the “ore” of wisdom, as well as find various qualities of this “ore” as we go along. Some of our “finds” on this quest are simply impressive, like the discovery of a large gold nugget or precious stone. Sometimes it’s just hard, but we know we have to endure these times to find out more. Wisdom proves miraculous in life. It is worth more than fine silver and gold.
The seven main values are: diligence, prudence, shalom (which is a “total peace”), balance, trust, respect and wisdom, they are all interdependent with each other, since as one activates and it is treated, so are the others, at least in some small way. In other words, if we improve one, we will (at least) slightly improve the others. (There is a Model in the book “What is truth?” that shows the interrelation of these seven main values with Wisdom and truth.)
Let’s dive in deeper with an illustration of interdependence…
It can be shown that if we apply confidence, which can be shown in many ways, such as being brave, having faith, etc., we become the beneficiaries of more shalom. It takes prudence and diligence to trust; For starters, it’s not just hard work (diligence), and it takes some self-control (prudence) to trust. It takes wisdom to be patient. Patience is a big part of confidence. Trust means being honest; again, honesty is an intrinsic act of bravery. Forgiving someone means that we must trust, and in this way we also show respect for the person we forgive. To trust effectively we must be reasonably balanced in life. If our life is in chaos it will be more difficult to trust. Balance promotes ability trust. Lastly, we simply cannot implement a life of wisdom without a lot of confidence.
What about another parent value?
Take shalom. To receive shalom, or as I like to say, to “achieve shalom”, in the moment, we have to do our job (diligence), be careful what we say and do (prudence), and have balance in life; we must trust in God (have faith); we must be respectful; and we need to pay attention to the life of general wisdom, which is a summary of all this in any case. Shalom is always a moment-to-moment proposition. So these core values interact with her at every moment.
I’ve just shown the interdependence of the other six core values with trust first and then shalom second. It works with each of the others as well.
Now let’s break down the core values in a different way. It is a way that illustrates the special holistic nature of this system of thought or philosophy.
It encompasses three key life functions or situations that recur over and over again:
1. Personal domain: diligence and prudence;
2. Givers of life: shalom and balance; Y,
3. Social awareness enhancers of relationships: trust and respect.
Now, this theory posits that we need to access both personal domain values and life-giving values to harness the relationship enhancers of social awareness, trust, and respect. Again, interdependence. We could transpose the formula and it would also turn out to be true.
All three lead, complement, and enhance wisdom. They ‘add up’ to wisdom.
Personal Mastery: Diligence and Prudence
Diligence and caution come first because they are staff. They impact us personally, and are most notably created or developed (one is [i.e. ‘you’] diligent or prudent) for personal reasons, impulses and motivations.
Diligence is order; an appreciation of the need for diligence to create order in life. It is being decisive and seeking resolution in all situations, working with tenacity, industry and a definable focus on action. It is a firm commitment and intent, based on a right heart and a non-religious piety that is duty; a focus on care; a rejection of haste. Other applicable adjectives as personal characteristics are: responsibility, reliability, discipline, obedience and leadership.
Prudence is above all self-control over what goes in and out of the mouth, and a heart that reflects it. Everything that has precaution can be qualified in feeding/intake and communication. It is the care of silence in dim times, the attachment to temperance, moderation in everything, discretion and finesse; it is always harmless and impossible to offend. Proverbs mentions that the prudent: overlook insults; act from knowledge and not from your own opinion; think and consider his ways and steps; always think and act humbly by paying attention to correction; seek refuge in dangerous situations; and have a constant awareness of one’s own context and environment.
Diligence and prudence are the most central character qualities that others look for when making judgments about us. They value our character critically on these values first; how diligent and careful we are. Whether we are labeled “lazy” or “gossipy” is personally relevant. These are character attacks that speak most convincingly of our levels of competence (or lack thereof) with respect to both diligence and prudence.
If we feel personally fulfilled, it will be largely because we consider that we have been diligent and prudent in our attitude and behavior. Our self-image and self-esteem is kept afloat in this way. These are key staff values, which have a tremendous impact on the next two. These two come first.
Life Givers: Shalom and Balance
Shalom and balance go together because both are giving life. Although they are subtly (and in important ways) different, they are highly interdependent with each other and are the key to present life: the present age. If there was ever a time when we have lost focus on this, it is now!
Shalom is many things, and not just “peace.” It is even a feeling of fulfillment and a deep sense of self-awareness. It is tranquility and harmony, a complete absence of discord and absolutely no cognitive dissonance. It is the most important and best state that a human being can achieve. It is simply heaven on earth.
If we have shalom it will be because of our level of life balance. The contract is applicable.
Balance is what’s missing from so much of life today – it’s so much more than just “work/life balance.” It is that and more. It is also about autonomy and being (able to be maintained) responsible. A balanced life uses time wisely and considers the various priorities and impacts of time; it is a “focused life.” Protect our accessibility. It’s self-empowerment to be able to do things right, all the time. It is consistently high performing. Protects and enhances vitality.
Relationship Enhancers: Trust and Respect
Trust and Respect also go together and are last before Wisdom and both are relational. Again, these are highly interdependent with each other; if one does not respect people, trust in those relationships is not returned. If you don’t trust someone, they are unlikely to respect you; it’s a very reciprocal deal.
Trust is love that never fails and a search for kindness. It is the grace to forgive and forget, gratitude in all things, and acceptance of things that cannot be changed. It is also one’s detachment from one’s own desires, openness to all that is good, a call to perseverance, and it is also never losing hope.
Respect is seeking justice and rectitude, sincerity and honoring all people; it is listening more than would normally be expected, as well as unquestioning integrity, driven by humility, compassion, empathy and justice, at any cost; it is consideration when it is due, and even sometimes when it is not, and tolerance towards all people; is to be socially intelligent.
Not the “Means”; It is the end and purpose of life itself: wisdom
Finally, wisdom is separated as unique and special. Nothing is like wisdom. Wisdom is the truth; how are things are. Wisdom and truth are synonymous and highly interchangeable.
Truth is wisdom; longevity based on the truth – it always works – being founded on it. Striving for health and well-being, a true holiness based on the righteous fear of God, seeking to understand rather than to be understood. It is both eternal and transitory in perspective; it is the totality of true perspective. It is a correct curiosity and a true appreciation of beauty and excellence.
Wisdom is as vast as life, and many would suggest that it is infinitely broader than even that.
We look at wisdom from a purely life perspective, nevertheless. (We only consider this aspect of wisdom. Theologically and practically, wisdom is as vast as “Creation”.) Wisdom provides the three keys to the life: long life and its associated benefits, prosperity in its different forms and honor, which is your name, fame and reputation, is what you will take to Heaven; the only thing maybe
So this philosophy is the answer to the question: “What is truth?” Because when all is said and done, there is only one thing that matters: living by the truth. Did you do it or not? That will be the question they ask you. Even in the 11th hour you may not have been, but it’s the end that counts. Will you finish strong?
Applying these seven core values can catapult anyone into the growth and character development they seek. only For the truth; reality at all costs, even at the expense of the person concerned. Because there is something more important than personal comfort and tranquility; is to please God. You can only come to know true peace, joy, and love through a relationship with God.
What is the truth? This question is, in my opinion, the key to the purpose of life; a life, again in my opinion, that is only available through a true Spirit-filled relationship with Jesus Christ; only he can effectively answer our deepest questions and satisfy our deepest longings.
With him, and only with him, the truth is available; truth that finally and powerfully sets us free.
©2008 Steven John Wickham. All rights reserved throughout the world.
 See Proverbs 3:2, 16; 21:21; 22:4.