Written By Eddie Vines
Eddie Vines is a former Jefferson county Judge and currently serves as President of Faith Fortress Ministries
Ever since evil entered the world through Adam, man’s heart has been turned toward sin. Our flesh is corrupted and highly vulnerable to temptation. However, as God’s special creation, made in his own image, he calls us to live lives of virtue. In the book of 2 Peter, the apostle goes so far as to say that the promises of God make us “partakers of the divine nature” while encouraging us to actively develop virtuous qualities.
To virtue he tells us to add knowledge and after knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, kindness, and charity.
As Christians we first and foremost practice virtue so that our lives may glorify God. The only goodness we are capable of is his goodness reflected in us. We then practice virtue because of the positive effects our good natures and character have on others. To be honest, kind and gentle toward others allows us to physically express the love of Jesus to those we touch each day. Finally, we practice virtue because it makes our lives more satisfying and meaningful. To reach out in love to others is incredibly healthy for both our bodies and our spirits.
John tells us that the love of God is the highest motivator to virtuous living. To be truly virtuous, he writes, we must put away the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life because these things are not of God.
The world tells us that it is smart and clever to take moral shortcuts but the fact is, the small temporary gain that cutting corners may bring cannot compare to the benefit that comes from making our bodies a living sacrifice for our creator who loves us.