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Living A Life Of Virtue

Last night, my men’s group began to study ways we can live virtuously.  As a society, we don’t talk much about the virtues, which are basically the skills needed to live a moral life.

In our culture today, we do a lot more talking about values than we do virtues. Although values can be a good thing, they are subjective and don’t necessarily help us over the long haul.  Our understanding of virtue goes all the way back to Plato and Aristotle, with further development in the New Testament.

Just what is a Virtue?  A good definition is: an habitual and firm disposition to do the good, which allows a person not only to do good acts, but to give the best of him/herself.  Being virtuous means that you should do good with ease, promptly, consistently and with joy.  Sounds like a tall order…

Throughout the summer, I’m going to tackle each one of the virtues separately, but for now I just want to get the list in front of you.  Hopefully this will get you thinking, as it did my group last night, about where the virtues are in your life. How do they manifest?  What role do they play?  How can you acquire them?

The Cardinal Virtues

The word cardinal means hinge, so we say cardinal virtues because they are the hinges on which everything else hangs.

  • Prudence- Knowing how to do the right thing, at the right time, in the right way.
  • Justice- The good due to others.
  • Fortitude- Constancy in the pursuit of good.
  • Temperance- The control of our passions and desires, especially for food, drink and sex.
The Theological Virtues
The word theological is attached to these virtues because they are linked to our ability to participate in the life of God.  Without the theological virtues, we are limited in our relationship with God and others.
  • Faith- The Assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1).
  • Hope- The ability to strive with confidence and conviction toward a future good.
  • Love- (also known as charity) To desire the greatest good for others and ourselves.  The greatest good is God Himself.
In order to be the people God calls us to be, we need to be striving to live a life of virtue.  It’s not going to be easy.  Last night, we talked about naming people who would be great examples of someone living out each one of the various virtues.  We had a tough time doing it.
Just because something is hard, however, doesn’t mean that it’s not worth striving for.   Take a look at the virtues above.  Where do they fit into your life?  Is there at least one that you could begin working on today?
Much more to come… 🙂

By seedthrower1

I'm passionate about helping people realize that God wants to make something new of them and bring about a permanent transformation in their lives: body, mind, and spirit.

One reply on “Living A Life Of Virtue”

I’ve been trying to work on loving people more. That whole idea has become so washed out by the media that I think most people don’t even know what it means or take it seriously anymore.

If we could all really make an effort to put other people first once in a while, or to try to see things from the other person’s view like Dale Carnegie talks about, I think we’d all live much happier lives.

When you start caring about other people and their problems it’s hard to worry so much about your own.

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