“Virtues are funny things, they are the fruit of faith and when paraded, they become parodies of themselves and the worst kind of vanity imaginable. When they are not the fruit of faith, they become faith’s greatest obstacle. Virtues are most vital when invisible and most sharply imaged when they are not the focus of our intentions. They are evidence of their Source and not the generators of it.” -Rich Mullins
My Thursday post is always going to be related to my upcoming sermon on Sunday. We’re in the book of 1 Peter and the section is a list of people that we should subject ourselves to. I know, insanely popular topic right.
The more I look at the story line the more I am drawn in to the piece about Jesus. Never lied, never returned evil for evil, never threatened anyone in the midst of his unjust suffering, he simply entrusted himself to the only just Judge, His father.
The story is a reminder of virtues that should be alive inside of us, regardless of any of the circumstances that surround us. Last week we spoke of Joseph and his brothers. In the midst of jealousy and unfairness, the brothers two brilliant ideas were kill him, no sell him. Awe the injustice of perceived justice. Joseph’s response was to be the best slave in the house, the one the owner could trust above all else. Be the best prisoner and let the guards put their faith in him, interpret dreams and finally be the second in command of all of Egypt.
God invites us to virtues, the irony is expressed by Rich, feel too proud of being humble and the virtue has become our vice. Virtues are generated by Christ alive in us, a coming to the end of ourselves and an allowance of Someone radically better being alive in us. Not an empty Temple of vanity, but one filled with the living God.