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Is the virtue of prudence in your character?

The virtue of prudence is best described as the practical wisdom that helps you discern which virtues are necessary as you meet life’s unpredictable circumstances.

In other words, you are prudent if you have discernment in your choices, especially as they relate to virtue. If the virtues are like different tools that hang on a handyman’s belt, prudence is the virtue that allows us to deploy the right tool at the appropriate time.

So, for example, prudence helps the soldier decide when it is time for courage and when it is time for patience. It helps the care-worker know when it is time for compassion and when it is time for truthfulness. It helps the leader feel when it is time for humility and when ambition is called for.

In the words of Ecclesiastes, prudence helps you discern when it is time to sow and when it is time to reap, when it is time to laugh and when to cry, when it is time to gather and when to scatter.

Does this describe you? If so, well done, you are a prudent person.

The opposing vices

The vices that oppose prudence are cunning, which is finding ways to benefit only oneself; cleverness, which gives the appearance of wisdom but has no substance; negligence, which gives up on seeking the best in every situation; stupidity, which always does the same things in every circumstance; and over-simplicity, which is happy for quick, superficial solutions based on hearsay or personal opinion.

Do any of these describe you?  If they do, and if your score in the Virtue Test was low in this virtue, then you may want to choose to work on the virtue of prudence in your character.

Back to > #2.3 – Understand your results



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