What is a Code?

written by Chris Hartenstein
The word “code” has gotten a lot of bad press, and yet it is something that we ALL have. At its most basic element, Code is just simply the way we live life. It is the belief systems we use, the filters we see the world through, the morals we embrace, and the ways we act and think. I like to think of Code as the way I communicate who I am, why I am here, and where I belong. It is how I show my true Identity, my core mission, and live within the community in which I belong.  

Let me throw out some examples:

When we think about a doctor he lives a Code of saving lives and bettering the health and quality of his patients. What would you think of a doctor who tried to harm or simply neglected those in his care? You would make it a point to NOT go to that doctor. If you love others well, you may even lobby for him to lose his license to practice.  

Society, in general, has a Code as well. It changes and isn't always based on any absolutes but it is still there. In America our Code revolves around living free, speaking our minds, having the opportunity, and being the master of our own destiny. We are also a society run by laws, they are a form of Code as well. If you want to live in peace in America then you agree to abide by those laws. Our Constitution is a Code that is the foundation of what it means to be an American.

My favorite examples come from Jesus. Take the woman at the well. Here is a lady who has not made a lot of good choices. Jesus knows this and tells her as much but he does it in such a way that she feels drawn to him not driven away. HOW? Because of his Code, Jesus is able to speak to her heart, making her feel seen, known, and loved. You don’t do that unless it’s core to who you are, what you believe, and what you're about. It actually caused her to go and tell others! Jesus put his Code on display for us all to learn from.      

Why is this so important to embrace? Because we are all communicating something by how we live our lives. We are all speaking some message to the world through our Code.

So very simply, what is your Code? What do you say about who you are, why you are here on this planet, and where you belong? What message does your life scream to the world? Your actions always speak louder than your words.  

- Do you believe you live by a code? Why or why not?
- Define your code. What is driving it?
- Who do you say you are by how you act?
- What do you say you are about by how you act?
- Where do you say you belong by how you act?
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