Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – January 27, 2016
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:13-14
Those who criticize the Christian ethos as outdated, narrow minded and meddling, forget that the virtues they seek to marginalize are a timeless value system that provides them the freedoms they enjoy. Yes, freedom of speech is a freedom only exercised where liberty has been bought by blood and retained by virtuous living. One generation can quickly forget past generational struggles and sacrifices that developed present day prosperity. Devalued virtue leads to decadence. But, a culture that values virtue expands liberty and creates opportunities for all.
Scripture identifies virtue as the very heart of God: patient forgiveness bound together by love’s unifying perfection. The Lord’s ultimate virtue was the payment of His son Jesus on the cross in exchange for the sins of the human race. Love gives. Love forgives. Love unifies. Voices that dismiss Christian virtues are not motivated by love, but by selfish agendas. A life behaving badly looks for ways to justify their disingenuous actions. However, a life that values virtue seeks to know God and grow in His heart of love. Virtue’s value is defined by the inordinate price paid by God.
“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things” (Philippians 4:8, NKJV).
Man’s progress in dismissing Christian mores will one day awake from its decadent slumber smothered by a crumbling culture unable to revive free speech that has been quietly asphyxiated by a totally self indulgent society. Like a fitful spoiled child who gets all and more than they demand, so an entitled elite manipulate their way into creating a national moral chaos. So, what are God-fearing Christians to do? We prayerfully, and by God’s grace, raise the bar of virtuous living in our own individual worlds. We love liberally. We forgive quickly. We value virtue by being virtuous.
We esteem virtue when we value relationships over results. Our treatment of fellow workers is of higher priority than profits. Work environments with a culture of Christian virtues experience excellent outcomes with compelling products and competitive productivity. Employees treated with dignity treat others with dignity: associates, customers, vendors, potential clients and volunteers.
Families who are emotionally satisfied, feel called and equipped to give and serve. Like a sweet memory or a favorite photo—we value virtue when we experience the ultimate fruit of virtue: love.
“An excellent woman [one who is spiritual, capable, intelligent, and virtuous], who is he who can find her? Her value is more precious than jewels and her worth is far above rubies or pearls. The heart of her husband trusts in her [with secure confidence], And he will have no lack of gain” (Proverbs 31:10-11, AMP).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I pray You will grow me into a person who values virtue, and by Your grace lives virtuously.
Application: Who do I need to patiently forgive? Who feels unloved that I might love well?
Post/Tweet this today: We value virtue by being virtuous. #WisdomHunters #valuevirtue
Worship Resource: 7 minute video – United Pursuit: Since Your Love
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© 2016 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
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