Some years ago, I came across a helpful tool that not only changed how I think, but it has become a “go to” resource for me. It’s called the Universes of Values Chart. *
This tool is a chart that shows the values of two different universes. As I’ve spent time pondering how this tool applies to my life, I found it to be quite effective at identifying underlying issues. This information helps launch me forward in my walk with the Lord.
Just like an astronomer uses stars to navigate, so a believer in Jesus can use the universes of values tool to navigate their heart and mind.
Notice in the diagram above – the geometric shape of the Self-Centered Universe is a rectangle. Rectangles are important in daily life. Yet, they also have corners in which to hide. They have clear lines – like walls. All the arrows are pointing inward. It’s as if everything is focused on you and coming in on you. In such a scenario, the first human instinct is to raise up barriers.
The concepts listed:
- Physical (carnal) – self-centered. Focused on the current world.
- Temporal – temporary that will eventually pass away.
- Kingdom of Darkness – the action in question is oriented toward some evil principle.
- Kingdom of Death – shut down of positive development, hope, and progress in godliness.
- Visible / Sensory – focus on immediately seen or experienced by your senses and brain.
- Apparent – things “seem” a certain way but cannot be measured accurately.
- Law – guilty as charged, letter of the law, under bondage to certain conduct of performance.
- Bondage – locked into circumstances/outcomes with no way of escape.
- Reactive – trapped. You work to preserve self at all costs. Higher thought/creativity is limited.
- Views Self as Victim – see yourself as a loser. You learn how to present yourself to look better. This often involves a lack of honesty (however slight).
Scriptures listed for this universe focus on intervention help available for this person. (Is. 53:6) Jas. 3:13-16 shows the difference between godly wisdom and wisdom of the world. It talks about outward conduct and the hidden corners of heart motives.
Look up at the chart again and notice the geometric shape in the God-Centered Universe. It’s an oval. There are no corners to hide in. All is open with no stop place to get tangled, to park with bad habits, or engage down-cycling thoughts. All the arrows are pointing outward. It’s as if this person is a source of encouragement, good judgment, faith, hope, and creative ideas. They have “gotten over themselves” by focusing on God’s faithfulness. They have become a partner in reaching out to others as they trust God for their own needs.
The concepts listed:
- Spiritual – God-centered. Focused on the unseen world.
- Eternal – the long-view that will last forever.
- Kingdom of Light – the action in question is oriented toward a principle that pleases God.
- Kingdom of Life – open like a bloom to positive development, hope, and progress in godliness.
- Invisible / Faith – focus on elements of the invisible world and is only engaged by faith.
- True – implementing God’s Word to identify what is eternal and stable.
- Grace – forgiven and treated with undeserved merit. You live inside God’s kindness.
- Liberty – absolute freedom to enjoy life and to explore God’s nature and creation.
- Pro-active – taking responsibility and safe risks to pursue God’s will and leading without fear.
- Views Self as Victor – see yourself as a winner. You cling to the hope of Jesus in daily life. Even in troubles, you know you are safe in Christ who is working all things for your good.
Scriptures listed for this universe focus on living in God’s decrees and enjoying His love. (Deut. 6:1-7) 2 Cor. 4:16-18 tells you not to lose heart in your troubles, despite hard work – even battle – in pursuing what is unseen and eternal rather than what is seen and temporary.
Using This Tool
There is an invisible toggle switch between the two universes. It is very powerful. Your will activates the toggle switch. You can flip this switch to either universe in a second of time, instantly changing from the Self-centered to the God-centered Universe.
How do you use your will to get from one universe of values to the other? The most effective way to use this chart is to ask yourself good questions.
- Where are you right now on this universe chart?
- What is your heart focused on?
- What kind of strategy is your mind engaging?
- In which universe do your thoughts, attitudes, words, and actions place you most often?
- Which list describes your disposition most of the time?
- Do you realize that in a split-second, you can be out of the Self-centered Universe and in the God-centered Universe?
- Are you willing to surrender – to die to self – to flip your toggle switch and be where God wants you to be?
Proverbs 23:7a says, “For as he hath thought in his soul, so [is] he, . . . “ (YLT)
You can take responsibility for which universe you live in. Use your toggle switch to please God. Choose to live intentionally and flip to the God-centered Universe. Partner with God in all your life issues.
* THE UNIVERSES OF VALUES CHART – is adapted from: McDougall, Colin. Models for Disciple-Makers. Robbinsville: Eternal Truth Ministries, 2002. Print.
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