One of the attributes that I strongly admire in a person is that of moral excellence or virtue. It challenges me to be a better person when I observe a common man or woman making an uncommon choice that smacks of purity, principle and incorruptibility. There is something inexpressibly valiant when a person chooses virtue over vice, morality over immorality and temperance over imprudence.
Choosing to be a person of virtue has never been an easy choice but it has always been the best choice. A pathway of moral excellence will always lead to a significant life. Always.
Oftentimes, endeavoring to live a life of integrity and even modesty can be a lonely choice and one that is mocked by the culture. However, it is a choice that will reap long-term rewards and garner the applause of heaven.
Do people even know what "virtue" is anymore or has it been thrown aside with other valuable character components such as honesty, integrity and faithfulness? Do people view moral excellence as outdated as horse and buggies, hand-written thank you notes and gas lanterns?
Virtue is the conformity of one's life and conduct to moral and ethical principles. For a believer in Christ, our moral guidebook is the Bible. We must extract all of our character traits from the blueprint found in the Word of God. Unfortunately, sometimes the call of the world is so dastardly loud and relentless that it becomes difficult to remember what the Bible has to say about a certain issue.
Also, in a culture that highly esteems tolerance, it has become increasingly difficult to adhere to those virtues that might seem archaic but in reality, they are vital and powerful.
We have focused on temporary comforts in our society rather than on eternal godliness. We have embraced as our role models athletes, entertainers and media moguls who have lost their moral compass.
I believe that the Holy Spirit is still calling disciples of Jesus Christ to choose to live a life of devotion and of honor. I also believe that the Holy Spirit, in this day and age, is looking for a few good men and a few good women who live by principle rather than by pretense.
Perhaps, as you allow the Holy Spirit to examine your heart today, these following guidelines could steer the course of your life:
1 – I will only tell the truth. I will not lie or exaggerate.
2 – I will only be kind to others.
3 – I will not use vulgarity or profanity.
4 – I will choose not to criticize or condemn others who are made in the image of God.
5 – I will endeavor to live a life that is morally immaculate in thought, word and action.
6 – I will treat others in the same manner that I wish to be treated.
The call of God is never outdated, never out of style and never old-fashioned. God's ways are eternal and are relevant in every generation and in every moment in history. Father really does know best, and his desire is for His children to live an abundant life! Choosing to life a lifestyle of virtue will always deliver an exceedingly abundant result!
"Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my concerns, and see if there is any rebellious way in me, and lead me in the ancient way" (Ps. 139:23-24).
Carol McLeod is an author and popular speaker at women's conferences and retreats, where she teaches the Word of God with great joy and enthusiasm. Carol encourages and empowers women with passionate and practical biblical messages mixed with her own special brand of hope and humor. She has written eight books, including, The Rooms of a Woman's Heart, Defiant Joy!, Holy Estrogen!, No More Ordinary, Refined, Joy For All Seasons, Let There Be Joy! and Pass the Joy, Please! which releases on February 1, 2018. Her teaching DVD, The Rooms of a Woman's Heart, won the Telly Award, a prestigious industry award for excellence in religious programming. You can also listen to Carol's "Jolt of Joy" program daily on the Charisma Podcast Network. Connect with Carol or inquire about her speaking to your group at justjoyministries.com.
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