It’s Sunday night! Time to gear up for a new week. As always, the best way to do that is to PUT ON THE ARMOR OF GOD (Ephesians 6:10-18) but we also will focus on ONE area to strengthen our walk with the Lord. Just one focus to help us grow a faith that cannot fade with the demands of life and the pressures of this world. This week we will focus on VIRTUE!
God places a high value on being virtuous. Virtue is absolute, not relative, and situational ethics are not virtue.
Second Peter 1:5-7 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.
A virtuous person is one who has high moral standards, and acts with integrity, honesty, and morality even when no one is looking. Peter tells us we are to “make every effort” to supplement our “faith with virtue,” meaning it doesn’t come naturally, even for Christians. Notice that Peter puts virtue before knowledge, but virtue with self-control leads to godliness. This godliness allows God to love others through us.
Proverbs 10:9 Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.
When the Bible mentions “walk” or “walking,” it is referring to a lifestyle, so whoever lives with integrity in life can rest assured they’ll walk securely. There’s a lot more damage that can be done be telling a lie than telling the truth, even to one’s own heart.
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
When we’re thinking bad or negative thoughts, it’s time to dwell on virtuous things…things that are honorable, pure, lovely, commendable, and excellent. It’s up to us to change the playlist in our head.
Proverbs 19:1 Better is a poor person who walks in his integrity than one who is crooked in speech and is a fool.
Riches can’t help us walk in integrity any more than poverty can, so walking in integrity has nothing to do with a person’s social or financial status. A poor person will do far better in life walking in integrity, in this life and at the judgment, than a rich one will do who walks in his or her own way.
God upholds those who walk in integrity. Integrity is even more important in this world with all the corruption there is, so seek to be the one whose integrity and VIRTUE stand above the rest. While those around you may respect you for it, God will always EXPECT it from you.