As we explore the virtues that bind us together as Christians in light of the many voices of the world that attempt to erode any sense of virtue in our lives, we have to strip away a lot to get to the heart of the issue. What connects me to God? What connects me to others as a brother or sister in Christ? Paul refers to this in the “love chapter” of 1 Corinthians 13.
There are a lot of things that we may think are important virtues. They tend to fade away, as Paul explains in Corinthians.
“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love” – 1 Corinthians 13:13
Just before writing this, Paul refers to forms of worship that may be regarded as virtues we value as an adolescent compared to an adult. Values in all areas of life are solidified by living simple virtues.
Focus Faith Wisely
The world is trying to throw followers of Christ from their solid footing by using physical issues, politics, social concerns and relational controversies to create tension. One way to combat this is through the virtue of keeping the faith. We may say this, but do we mean it and do we know what it means?
The very nature of keeping something affords the possibility of it being taken away. Many of us have lost faith in something at some point in our lives. We focus on it, believe in it, treasure it and then find out that it is just a fleeting chapter in our lives. Faith is then reevaluated, and we need to dig a little deeper to anchor our life and keep the faith in something more eternal.
Exercise Faith Courageously
An illustration from the life of William Hunter may shed some light. Living in the mid-1500s and raised in a Christian home, Hunter developed a love for the Bible and was found to be reading it often, even while walking down the street. He came into disfavor with the law for not attending the required mass, explaining to the sheriff that reading the Bible is worship.
A failed attempt was made to coax him to obey. He was put in stocks for days before being chained in prison for nine months as a result. Hunter was then sentenced to return to his small village to be burned at the stake. His final words as the flames licked at his feet were, "I am not afraid."
He was confident in the truth and kept the faith no matter what. A monument in Brentwood, England carries this message today:
William Hunter: Martyr
Committed to the flames on March 26, 1555
Christian Reader; learn from his example to
Value the privilege of an open Bible.
And be careful to maintain it.
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