This past weekend, my law firm held its all-partner retreat. This is a great opportunity to have some fun, bond, and talk through where we're headed as an organization. It was a very productive retreat from my perspective. The focus was our "core values," and the vision and purpose supported by those values. Learning and thinking about this in the context of my firm got me thinking about my own life. What is my purpose? What is my vision? What are my core values? The way these terms are defined are as follows:
Vision: what you desire to become.
Purpose: your reason for being.
Core Values: the ideals you respect and honor in carrying out your purpose and reaching your vision.
So, on the train home last night, I wrote out my vision, purpose and core values.
Vision (what I desire to become):
"Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God." (Eph. 5:1-2) My vision is to become more like Christ everyday -- to love as he loved.
Purpose (my reason for being):
"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." (1 Corin. 10:31) Whatever I do, I will do for the glory of God. That is my very reason for being.
Core Values (the ideals I will honor in carrying out my purpose and reaching my vision) :
The Pharisees asked Jesus "which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus answered: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." (Matt. 22:36-40) All that I do must be informed and driven by loving God and loving others.
I know that my personal vision can be reached. I know that my purpose can be carried out. I know that my core values can inform all that I do. But, not in my own power. As Paul said to the Colossians, "[t]his is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you the assurance of sharing his glory." (Col. 1:27b) And, "I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength." (Phil. 4:13) Amen.