Posts Tagged ‘virtue’

Am I virtuous?

Doubt it. I’d be hard pressed to call myself even close to virtuous. Why is that? Why is being virtuous or “morally excellent” such a high compliment that I’d be afraid to claim it as my own without feeling prideful as well … and probably, I’m guessing, others would think of me the same way.

And so, if it is true that we should be pursuing excellence and virtue, why does it feel nearly impossible to claim it or attain it? I know Proverbs 31 is one of the most popular discourses on being a “virtuous woman,” but I’m not sure it really resonants for me in this discussion. I find her more practical, clever, or wise than I do virtuous. (That is, until verse 30, where she is praised for her “fear of the Lord” or her faith, I would say.)

In fact, in today’s world, “virtue” (as a term) may carry a bit of a stigma. I can hear it now. “Oh, she’s so virtuous!” wink, wink. Or, it becomes synonymous with pictures of perfection that we tend to avoid putting such a label on anyone we know well, like a friend next door or an acquaintance across the aisle or a colleague at the coffee shop. We save up that designation for the “saints” like Mother Teresa.

We should be seeking the compliment, but it’s rarely heard. We should be giving the compliment, but it’s rarely spoken. That’s a sad commentary on our day and age.

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In the Pastor’s Blog on this topic, he speaks of virtue as that of “doing of good” or “moral excellence.” It is the “second step” from II Peter 1:3-7 for sustaining our faith.

It’s interesting to me that the Pastor’s discussion somewhat mirrors my most recent bible study posting on “Kitchen Service” (chapter 7 of “Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World). We have also been looking at the importance of serving … but as an outgrowth of intimacy with Christ.

I would like to spend more time this week pondering “moral excellence” however. This definition does not speak so much to the “doing” as it does to the attitude or internal choice.

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