What does the principle value of a person mean? It works as the standard of judgment on things whether they are valuable to the person or not. It is a thing or a concept on which one sets his or her mind. It is, therefore, what one will constantly seek for. A person aims to achieve things that fit it, that is, that he or she things are valuable according it. It could be a material or physical thing, such as money, prosperity, quality of life, or physical heath. It could be also a state of a person, such as, happiness, peace, satisfaction, or freedom. It also could be an achievement in the society, such as, power, reputation, or popularity.
What does the principle value of a person do in the person’s life? It motivates the person to do things or to be a certain person to achieve it. Thus it works as aim or goal of the person’s life. The things the person does in his or her life is what he or she thinks is useful to achieve it; and also the person he or she tries to be is one that he or she thinks fits it. It motivates activities and determines character of a person.
One other very important thing that the principle value does is to determine the morality of the person. When a person is seeking for his or her principle value, there will necessarily arise occasions that it conflicts with other values. For example, suppose a man whose principle value is money. He will meet many occasions that he feels he has to spend some of his money to help the needy. However, because money is his principle value, the chances are that he will not use his money for the needy. Thus, the principle value of a person determines morality of the person. Some people, who try hard to earn money, help the needy with money. They say they are earning money to do such good things. In this case, their principle value is not money, but doing good works. Their money is a tool for their good works; they earn money for a good purpose. On the other hand, some, whose principle value is money, may use their money to help people. They may say their principle value is helping people. However, the chances are that they are lying, because even if they help the needy, they are using the opportunity to achieve their principle value. We call this kind of behavior hypocrisy—taking advantage of a seemingly unselfish good action for a selfish purpose.
The greatest significance of the principle value is in that it determines life of the person. According to it, what the person is going to do, about what the person will be happy, and for what the person will be enthusiastic will be determined. According to it, the character of the person—who he or she is and what he or she is—is determined. In other words, it determines life of the person. This is the biggest significance of it for a person. For example, if a man’s principle value is having fun, that is, pleasure. Then, he would do everything to have fun. He would not hesitate long to take heavy alcoholic beverages, illegitimate sexual relationships, or even drugs. Eventually, he would become like an animal with no morality. His life goes into misery after his principle value, pleasure.
Therefore, everybody has to be cautious to choose the principle value in his or her young age. To this point, some may say, “I can do both; I can set both money and love as my principle value.” However, the principle value is not a thing that can be multiple at the same time. It is a thing like all-or-nothing, alternative, or dichotomy. If one sets it, then the person judges other values according to it. Other values will automatically be arranged in an order of how much each of them serves it. In other words, an individual value is taken by the person only in far as it serves the person’s principle value. This is the value system of a person. For example, if a man’s value is money, when it comes even to love in his marriage relationship, his love of his wife comes only after his love of money. He may be unaware of and deny strongly this. However, it will head up in time of actual choices. Like this, other values, such as love, marriage, spouse, children, and children’s welfare, come always after the principle value of the person, money.
In the Bible, we can find a teaching that we can connect with the principle value we discussed above. According to Jesus’ teaching, no man can serve God and money at the same time (Matt. 6:24). Here, money is a representative term for all the worldly things. Jesus also contrasts between mind set on the things of God and mind set on the things of men (Matt. 16:23). And, according to apostle Paul, the mind set on the flesh, i.e., the worldly things, is hostile to God (Rom. 8:7). Therefore, it seems that there are only two categories from which we can choose our principle value—godly things and worldly things. Thinking what we have discussed, it is serious matter to choose one between them as our principle value. If you would like to study more about this, please, do not hesitate to contact us. For setting your principle value is such a serious matter if you want to live a valuable life.