Virtue and Truth
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. 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. —2 Peter 1:3-7
When I proposed to my wife, Andrea, I gave her an engagement ring without diamonds. I gave her a ring with rubies. As I placed it on her finger, I quoted Proverbs 31:10 which says, “Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies” (KJV). I wanted her and everyone who saw the ring to know that I believed she was a woman with a rare quality—virtue.
Virtue is defined as conforming one’s life and conduct to moral and ethical principles. It empowers uncompromising integrity. Virtue is a moral compass that always points the way to how we ought to live. Virtue is the strength to stand when the winds of compromise are blowing against you. It conveys heroic courage to stand strong, especially in the face of moral relativism. For Christians, it is the first thing we are commanded to add to our faith (2 Peter 1:5).
Virtue is rare these days. In fact, the news headlines declare America is becoming a vacuum of virtue. Whether it is a child-sex scandal at Penn State or voyeurism in the boys’ locker room at Penn High School in Mishawaka, Indiana, it is obvious that we are in a moral free-fall. What is missing is virtue.
And virtue simply cannot exist without Truth.
The definition of virtue assumes that there is an absolute standard by which we should govern ourselves. It assumes truth and virtue are transcendent—that they exist outside of the human experience. It assumes that God has taken the initiative to reveal His truth and virtue to us.
What we need is a resurgence of virtue. But who will supply it? There are two incubators of virtue in our culture. The first one is the church. We are the only ones who have access to God's virtue through His written Word. Christians aren’t the manufacturers of virtue. They are the distributors.
The second incubator of virtue is marriage and family. Virtue fuels the honor and nobility of keeping our marriage vows over the temptation to pursue our freedom—and over escaping the pain when relationships become challenging. Virtue informs our sexuality. Virtue says, “In faithfulness and trustworthiness I will protect my marriage and children from the destructive forces of unhinged sexuality that could undermine trust and commitment in my family.”
The rarer a jewel is, the higher its value. Who can find a virtuous people? Their value is far above rubies.
If you have it, your value is priceless. —Trent Griffith
· What value do I place on virtue?
· Does my life reflect that?
Prayer: Father in heaven, when I think about how I make choices . . . I am so convicted. You are very clear in Your Word that You esteem virtue and integrity. You bless obedience and a life that glorifies You. Forgive me for not valuing virtue. Help me to see its value as you do . . . priceless. In Jesus’ name, Amen.