People talk about developing virtue like its the worst chore one could be given in all the world. But, as I was reading today, I had to wonder why. I thought, if these things are markers of the One who has chosen us, evidences of how high we have been raised in rank, wouldn’t we want to shine them all up and make sure we could parade each one of them about at all times?
You see, there is no real reason to grumble through the striving we are called to make on behalf of virtue. Living in this vein is to strive in the ways of virtue, not to strive to have virtue. God supplies the virtue. We supply the eagerness to receive it. There is a vast difference between living this way and living to make ourselves better by trying to adopt all of God’s rules without constantly being enveloped by more of God. A world of difference.
In the first instance we are submitting to God that He may turn our lives into what they are supposed to look like and be. There is nothing for us to muster up–to create of this life–only to free ourselves up to be conduits of the life God wants to pour into us. Because of Him, and how He is partnering with us, we become the very things that God wants to show the world through us. It is a reward to be called to live lives like this, lives fitting with the purposes God has for us who will be forever a part of His kingdom.
Let’s accept this calling, this purpose, this enabling–this plan He has for cultivating virtue in us–and rejoice over His care that runs all through it. Don’t stop there, move on to flaunting the work of God’s Spirit all over the place! We want others to see and be enticed by what the living God does in the ones He loves. We want others to desperately want what God is already holding out to them, especially when they see it taking over us. “Take what He gives and enjoy it too!” our lives should say to those around us. With a smile–yes, don’t forget the smile…and the joy-filled laughter that comes from being a child of the King!