I am sure there are many of us who can confidently say “I am a good person”. How many of us can say that they are “Virtuous”? What does it mean to be a virtuous person and why should we aspire to this? A virtuous person does everything that is pleasing to the Lord. A virtuous person embraces the Lord.
A good person may embody perhaps one of two virtues but is that good person truly good? Could they stand before God confidence of themselves, their conduct, and their life? For example, even as an atheist, I had always felt confident in that I was a good man.
I loved my family and I worked hard to provide for my children. I tried to be as nice as I could be. However I had my faults, some of them severe, but I had always deluded myself into thinking I was a good man.
I’ve been looking at the seven deadly sins over the last few months and have found them to be a broad yet effective means of self-categorization and self-understanding. They have helped me to understand the difference between a good person and a virtuous person.
The difference between someone who is pleasing or not pleasing to God. We should all attempt to embrace the virtues that are extolled amongst Christians. The seven deadly sins and the seven opposing virtues are Lust versus Chastity, Gluttony Versus Temperance, Greed Versus Charity, Sloth Versus Diligence, Wrath Versus Patience, Envy Versus Kindness and Pride Versus Humility.
For me, since becoming a Christian, I have definitely made the transition from good to virtuous. I still struggle occasionally with diligence, if I am completely honest, but we as humans are not perfect.
Sin is a constant thorn in our sides and we wage war always against its malign influence and intrusion into our lives. We don’t always succeed and even the greatest Christians falter and slip.
As you the reader read through those virtues would you say you are merely a good person or a virtuous person? What areas concern you? What areas can you improve on? Is this even a valid list to even consider? Is it for Catholics only?
For me I see significant merit to being chaste, tempered, charitable, diligent, patient, kind and humble. Don’t you?