Jesus is the epitome of virtue; the exemplar of how we are to live. We are all good at some virtues but, unlike Jesus, we are unable to master all of them. It seems that no matter how hard we try we seem to continue to struggle mastering some of them.
With what virtues do you excel? With what virtues do you struggle? In the areas where you excel, do you find the virtues come easy to you? In the areas where you struggle, do you have any idea why you experience such difficulty in mastering said virtues?
Let’s do a very quick analysis: On a scale of one to ten, with ten being outstanding, how virtuous do you think you are in each of the following categories?
It is much easier for us to eliminate a vice that requires no replacement. Take gossip, for example. Once you know why you gossip (perhaps it is rooted in envy or pride), you can elect to stop. Once you know the cause for the unwanted behavior, it is much easier discontinue it. That was the case for me. Once I figured out that gossip was rooted in pride, I stopped cold-turkey, because I knew enough to know that pride is one of the seven deadly sins, and I wanted no association with it. I want eternal life. If that meant no more gossip; so be it!
It’s not so easy for me when it comes to Temperance; especially regarding healthy eating and portion control of food. My mastery of self-control, as it relates to food, is a lifelong battle. I cannot eliminate food and replace it with nothing as I could with the elimination of gossip. I must eat to survive. Therefore, I have to work hard to keep the weight off, and remain vigilant about portion control. Knowing that, I still struggle to maintain self-control over food, because I love to eat!
So, for me it is Temperance; for others it might be a struggle to maintain trust and faith in God, because it is difficult to put past hurts and disappointments into perspective. For some, it is difficult to hold on to hope in times of conflict and illness because of the fear of the unknown. Whatever, your struggle, know that you are not alone. We all have strengths and we all have struggles, because we are human. God understands that better than anyone!
From Struggle to Triumph!
How do we turn our struggles into triumphs? We do it by seeking the solace of the Lord. If we acknowledge our struggles and ask for the grace of virtue to shore up our soul against temptation, God will hear our prayers and He will deliver us! God will always respond with a “yes” to a request for virtue! Rest assured of that. He never leaves us to fend for ourselves. By His grace, He is ever ready to give us aid and assistance in our growth in virtue. He loves us that much!
If you want to dig deeper into the root causes of your own struggles, and are looking for ways to overcome them, then I suggest taking advantage of the free download that I offer on this website, The Virtues Guide – Second Edition. This .pdf file offers definitions for each virtue, along with salient scripture passages and practical, doable suggestions for incorporating virtue into your daily life. It guides you away from unwanted behavior to virtuous behavior.