The Core Values

Army life is based on six core values: Courage, Discipline, Respect, Integrity, Loyalty and Selfless Commitment.

But did you know that Jesus lived out these values too? He needed all six core values to be able to go and die for us on the cross. Take a look at the story for yourself:

Courage: be brave enough to do the right thing, no matter what

Jesus, who is God, knew that He was about to be arrested and killed. This was God’s rescue mission: to pay for our sin and wrongdoing by dying the death we deserve for us. Jesus felt scared as His death approached. So He prayed to His Father:

[Jesus] knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this [task] away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” . . . And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. —Luke 22:41-44

Jesus showed true courage. Even though He was scared of dying on the cross and suffering God’s anger because of our selfishness, He said “not My will, but Yours, be done”. He was brave enough to go through with the plan for us!

Discipline: set a good example

Then came the arrest. But Jesus didn’t run or fight. He even stopped His followers reacting violently:

When Jesus’ followers saw [that Jesus was going to be arrested], they said, “Lord, should we strike with our swords?” And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear.

 But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him. —Luke 22:49-51 (NIV)

Respect: treat people as you would want to be treated

Once Jesus had been arrested, it wasn’t long before he was led out to be executed. They were going to nail Him to a cross of wood, and leave Him there to die. Yet He didn’t go there thinking of Himself or worrying. He was thinking about the people killing Him. He knew He was dying so they (and everyone) could be forgiven by God. He was never selfish.

There were also two others, criminals, led with Him to be put to death. And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. Then Jesus said [about His executors], “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” —Luke 23:32-34

Integrity: be honest and never lie, cheat or steal

Even the criminals being executed with Him knew that Jesus lived a perfect life:

Then one of the criminals who were hanged [cursed] Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.”

 But the other, answering, [told him off], saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same [judgement]? And we indeed [correctly], for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but [Jesus] has done nothing wrong.” —Luke 23:39-41

 Loyalty: look after your mates, even when the going gets tough

Jesus was loyal to God and us, because He went through with God’s rescue plan, even allowing Himself to die horribly. When He was hanging on the cross, He was looking out for those around Him, rather than just being sad about His situation. When one of the criminals gave His life back to God, Jesus promised him a place in heaven:

Then [one of the criminals] said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.

 And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in paradise.”

 Now it was about [midday], and there was darkness over all the earth until [three o’clock] . . . And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, “Father, ‘into Your hands I commit My spirit.’” Having said this, He breathed His last. —Luke 23:42-46

Selfless Commitment: put the team and the mission before yourself

[Jesus], being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing . . . being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! —Philippians 2:5-8 (NIV)

But there’s more

When He died, Jesus paid for our sin and selfishness for us. But that isn’t the end of the story! He rose to new life three days later. Now, when we trust Jesus, we are joined (or “united”) with Him, the One who has defeated death.

Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was. —Romans 6:5 (NLT)

God wants all of us to live out the Core Values perfectly to honour and please Him. But we all fall short. Thankfully, Jesus lived them for us, and through His death and resurrection, offers us a new life. In this new life our failings are paid for so we don’t have to face God’s anger, and Jesus gives us His perfection. When we become Christians, in God’s eyes we are perfect! And Jesus gives us His Holy Spirit to help us become more like Him each day, living out the Core Values to please God.

Want to think more about becoming a Christian? Let your Scripture Reader or Padre know—they’ll be happy to talk to you about it.