Monday, October 21, 2013

Creating a Virtuous Life

What is it that scares us about living a "Virtuous" life?  I know that my mind always used to equate being full of virtue with being "perfect."  Let me tell you, as a semi-reformed perfectionist, you cannot be perfect!!!!  Try with your own will as much as you can and it will not happen.  The truth is, the only perfect human was Jesus! I am sorry to disappoint you, none of us can be Jesus!!

I thought I would touch on some things that will allow you to live a virtuous life and feel good about yourself knowing that you are not perfect. Take heart though, true perfection is coming for those that love Jesus when we go to be with Him in all eternity!

1 Peter 2:17
Treat everyone you meet with dignity. Love your spiritual family. Revere God. Respect the government.

Respect!!! One thing I have learned over the years is to treat others with respect.  Do you know that you can disagree with someones values and belief systems and still be respectful? What better witness of God's love than to be respectful of those who just don't understand why we believe what we believe.  How did God treat us when we were not where we are today. Did he mock and laugh at us?  Did he brow beat us with endless verbiage or "Christianese?"  No, he put someone in our paths that was able to relate to us right where we were.  He gave that person or persons the right words and the right time to speak to us in love.  They shared with us through the example of a true virtuous life of respect and dignity.

Colossians 3:12
So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline.

Compassion.  That is such a peaceful sounding word. So many people in this world are lost and don't even know it.  They need compassion.  Definition: a feeling of distress and pity for the suffering or misfortune of another, often including the desire to alleviate it. Many people don't realize they need to make changes in their life.  If you take the route of listing their sins and what will happen if they don't stop, you will drive them away. The best way to alleviate the suffering is not by constantly leaving bible verses on their desk, or on their facebook page.  The best way is to be a compassionate approachable friend who will be there when they come and say, "I know I need to change. Will you help me?"

Titus 3:2
No insults, no fights. God's people should be bighearted and courteous.

Humility. Definition: the quality or state of not thinking you are better than other people : the quality or state of being humble.  May we all show true humility towards one another.  Have you ever seen another Christian fighting with someone about a choice they have made in their life that would not be a choice God would have them make?  I have seen the truly ugly side of this. I have seen insults all in the name of God. Some things I have heard are people being told they are going to "hell" if they don't change their evil ways. Or the reason they have cancer is because they continue to sin and God is punishing them. Personally, this sounds like a holier than thou attitude and I would just walk away from someone and want nothing to do with their life or religion.  We are to know scripture so that when someone asks us the reason for our believing we can tell them.  It's not to be thrown in their face to condemn them and make ourselves look better than them.

Romans 14:19
So let's agree to use all our energy in getting along with each other. Help others with encouraging words

Peace-loving.  We should be using our love for Jesus and our knowledge of God's work to encourage one another. Our energy should not be wasted on endless arguments on doctrine.  That is so mentally tiring.  Let us use our energies to get along with one another.  So many people we come in contact with have qualities we need to learn, and if we are constantly looking to find faults with them, and be at odds, then we will truly miss the blessings that can come from that relationship.

These are just a few of the virtues we should display as lovers of Jesus.  The greatest virtue I desire for myself, family and friends is Salvation!

2 Timothy 2:10
That's why I stick it out here––so that everyone God calls will get in on the salvation of Christ in all its glory.

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