"I planted the seed... but God made it grow." I Cor. 3:6
A Few Off-the-Cuff Remarks on Virtues and Vices.
Teachableness is a virtue. It is an attitude that, according to Fenelon,
makes everything easier. Becoming teachable is not always so easy, however.
Most of us need a few good whacks with a two by four.
Procrastination is a vice. It is a bad habit which we usually get
away with, until the day we don't get away with it.
Friendliness is a virtue. It not only helps others feel at ease,
it helps us as well, for "he who would have friends must show himself
friendly." Unfriendly people are usually lonely and loneliness often
makes one vulnerable to more serious vices.
Touchiness is not a virtue. However, touchy people are often that
way because they are more sensitive than the rest of us. When turned around
by the cross, this touchiness can become a great virtue. (If you think I
am talking specifically to you here, you may be just a tad too touchy.)
Purposefulness is a virtue. We live in a culture that continually
encourages us to pursue pleasure and personal happiness. Does the pursuit
of pleasure make people happy? It usually leads to frustration. Real soul-satisfaction
is the result of placing Purpose before Pleasure.
Indecisiveness can be a problem. I'm not sure I could call it a vice,
but it is occasionally annoying. We can tell a lot about people by the things
they are indecisive about. It's one thing to be uncertain which shirt to
wear one day; it is quite another to be uncertain about being committed
to truth or holiness.
Moodiness can be a vice. Some people use it to get even with those
around them. We should not allow our children to develop the habit. In the
workplace it is considered unprofessional.
Stubbornness appears at first to be a vice. We call stubborn people
bull headed for some reason. I guess bulls must be stubborn. Yet what often
appears to be stubbornness can actually be a valuable persistence. People
who won't give up, no matter how tough the going. When obstacles mount,
most of us are too quick to quit... Tasks that could have been completed
long ago remain unfulfilled because there was no one persistent enough to
carry it on to completion. The apostle Paul said, "I press on..."
Paul's persistence, in the face of incredible opposition, helped turn the
world upside down. We could use a few more bull heads like Paul.
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