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Thursday, June 5, 2014

How to Become Courageous, Wise, and Generous









Meaning and purpose in life is one of the perplexing mysteries that confound, illuminate, and intrigue the human spirit in the quest for the good life – a life well lived. Virtue is at the end of this search, and this article will argue that to become courageous and wise and generous will take a person significantly along the road to that to-be-cherished destiny. It is a road which God wishes to take us on.

WHOLENESS Leads to NOBILITY

We all seek wholeness; even if it is that we resist it and resent it. We may think, “Why am I not whole already?” Or we may think, “I am whole already; I don’t need to be healed.” Both of these are coming at the issue of wholeness from the wrong direction.

Wholeness, it is argued, is generated by an attitude of gratitude. Grateful people are on the path to wholeness, and the output is generosity. Generous people are happy people. The more we give away, the happier we become. Grateful people are generous people. The gratitude needed for wholeness, to become generous, is the quest for nobility.

INTEGRITY Leads to HONOUR

Most of us know implicitly that integrity is the way to live life. We appreciate others’ integrity, just as much as we know integrity is the wise way through life.

We breed integrity within ourselves by investing in humility; by thinking in big picture terms. When we are not anchored down by the oppression of selfishness – i.e. when there is an absence of self driving our thinking – integrity blossoms and shines. The output is courage. To be courageous is to be unconcerned about the personal cost in acting out of our integrity. The humility needed for integrity, to become courageous, is the quest for honour.

PERSEVERANCE

The reason why we don’t achieve our goals is not because we are insincere; it’s because we don’t persevere.

Perseverance is nurtured within us by faithfulness. When we have learned to be faithful, and we are able to persevere, using our sincerity and not giving in or giving up, we are on the road to attaining wisdom, for wisdom is the smarts of a life lived well. The faithfulness to persevere, and to become wise, is the quest for enlightenment.

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Humility leads to integrity, which empowers us to be courageous. Faithfulness leads to perseverance, which frees us to live wisely. Gratitude leads to wholeness, which allows us to be generous. These are the quests for honour, enlightenment, and nobility. These are the virtues we all need in order to live a good life.

© 2014 S. J. Wickham.

Acknowledgement: to Pastor Erwin McManus, teacher at Mosaic Church, teaching on Ethos.







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