A Virtue By Any Other Name…

     Research will show that the connotation of the English word virtue originally meant something like ‘manly courage’ or ‘manly strength’. It was closely linked to a soldierly sort of courage and positive action…as in the power to make good things happen for a common benefit. With the passing of time, the word has taken on a more feminine connotation – almost synonymous with chastity or virginity. It presents with more the idea of what one won’t do, rather than what one should, can, or will do. Concept proven in this quote: “Any woman in the world, even a nun, would rather lose her virtue rather than her reputation” (Lionel Strachey, British writer, and humorist).

     The word virtue should still serve to remind us that manliness – good moral character – is closely associated with moral excellence…for both men and women. This idea may seem ironically out of place in a culture where the standard male TV characters seem to all be either hen-pecked losers, mentally challenged morons, or macho-men behaving badly. And why is that? Could it be because in many homes and relationships, men have abdicated their moral and spiritual responsibility toward those around them…those who are depending on their protection and guidance? God’s design for man has always combined strength and kindness exhibited in a life marked by wise leadership, integrity, and concerned care. As Willian J. Bennett put it, “moral anchors and moorings [like that] have never been more needed.”

     By its very nature, true virtue works from the inside out – beginning with one’s thought-life and manifesting itself in benevolent actions to the benefit of the rest of the world. “As he thinks in his heart, so is he” (Prov. 23:7). “All of you, serve each other in humility” (1 Pet. 5:5)…knowing that “today’s wise preparation will determine tomorrow’s achievement.”

-John Driggers (1/1/2024, V6 #1)

A deeper look at the word "virtue" and what it has come to mean in today's times verses what it meant centuries ago. True virtue comes from within the heart.

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