Read: 2 Samuel 12:1-13
As you progress through the phases of a virtue education plan, an important moment is when you choose one particular virtue to work on. Virtue education, in fact, works best when you concentrate on one virtue at a time. But which virtue should you choose?
If you are a Christian, God has a part in your choice, because he is interested in speaking to you about your character.
2 Samuel tells the story about when Nathan confronts David’s sin with Bathsheba. Notice several things from the story:
As you took the virtue test, or while you were reading more about the virtues and their vices, maybe you were struck by a particular vice that did not appear specifically in your results. Maybe you felt that it an area in which you need to work. That might be the voice of God. Consider this project as an opportunity to listen to the voice of the Spirit, who can guide you in your choices and give you an inner conviction about which part of your character He would have you work on.
And now for a final point.
Notice that this texts describes the lack of virtue as sin. There is nothing wrong with using the positive terminology of the virtues to encourage growth. And it is also helpful to use the terminology of the vices to indicate the opposing forces of virtue. And, of course, in David’s case there were multiple vices, including lust and deceit, and there were several virtues missing, including temperance and justice. But in his ‘then ‘ moment, David does not exclaim ‘I think I need to work on some virtues in my character’. He says ‘I have sinned‘. And here we see the ongoing practice of repentance as the way of discipleship.
A prayer: Lord speak to me as I search my heart desiring virtue. Show me my vices and where you would have me change. If necessary, send a Nathan to me. I repent of sin in my character which is habitual and natural, and pray that you will grant me the opportunity to change.