Virtues and Vices: A Guided Exercise for Christians

What are your core virtues? What are God’s virtues? What are the virtues of this age that the world tries to impose on you?

Similarly, what are your vices that hinder you from keeping to the core virtues that you value and those that God values?

This world has its own moral code–its religion of sorts–and those who do not conform to these sets of virtues are accused, slandered, and ostracized.

I think it can be a good exercise to consider these things honestly.

First, what are your virtues? You can find a list of virtues Online. What are your top 20? Top 10? Top 5?

Next, what are your vices? With some honest self-reflection, it’s probably not difficult to name a few.

Lastly, what are God’s virtues and how do your current virtues or vices hinder you from living as you would like to?

When we have a set of core values given to us in Christ that we can stand firmly on, we will not be “reeds shaken with the wind” that are given into the “virtues” or vices of this time. We can learn to say no to those who want to impose their will onto us.

I thought this would be a useful exercise, so I gave it a go myself.

Here are the top 10 virtues that I value most. I do not always keep to them as I should, but being aware might help me evaluate my actions. Am I living in accordance to my virtues or am I living according to the virtues of others?

  1. Love
  2. Truth
  3. Faithfulness
  4. Courage
  5. Humility
  6. Mercy
  7. Passion
  8. Wisdom
  9. Restraint
  10. Thankfulness

Other than feeling awkward, it is easy to flaunt virtues. What about my vices–the weakest parts of myself? How do these weaknesses keep me from living according to my core virtues?

I don’t recommend publishing your vices Online. I do so because I value truth over wisdom, apparently. I also hope that the Lord will reward my openness by helping me to overcome these areas while letting others know an important point:

We are not just one thing.

We strive against the flesh and the things of this world and we are all tempted and weak in something. It’s easy for us to hide our flaws and flaunt our virtues, but it is better to confess our sins to one another in faith and with hope of mercy and strength to overcome in Jesus Christ. That being said, here are my vices:

  1. Wrathfulness
  2. Feebleness
  3. Untrusting
  4. Contemptuous
  5. Contentious
  6. Reclusive
  7. Hasty
  8. Obsessive
  9. Indecisive
  10. Covetous

What are Jesus’s virtues–He who has no vices? There are almost too many to name. He is truly holy and perfect and none of us measure up.

However, He shares Himself with us.

The fruits of the Spirit offer some insight: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, self-control. Jesus also values and provides truth, wisdom, strength, thankfulness, and fear of the Lord.

Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen. — Revelation 7:12

All good things we have come from God through the name and person of Jesus Christ. If we continue to seek Him, He will give us His virtues and make us strong in them, no matter how twisted this world gets.

One day, we will live with Him in His Kingdom. We all need mercy and grace to be counted worthy of His Kingdom and the sacrifice of Jesus provides this for us. However, if we value Jesus–if He is our greatest idea of virtue–then He will conform us to His image overtime and we will not be strangers in a strange land when we enter His Kingdom. We will be right at home!

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