People all look basically the same, but each one is different. Kind of like a bag of apples, there are delicious ones, a few that are a little bruised, some may taste a little funny, and there may even be a rotten one or two. All in the same bag. Among any group of people, excluding the youngsters, there are going to be both people of true character and goodness, and selfish opportunists looking for an advantage over others. The outfits are the same, the smiles are pretty similar, the difference is in the heart.
During a career stint that required occasionally hiring people, I always tried to dig a little deeper than the beautiful calligraphy on the diploma announcing competency in a particular field of study. Finishing what you started has value, but what you are made of, your character and virtue is much more valuable. I was looking for signs of Faith, hope, knowledge, wisdom, honesty, humility, obedience, patience, courage, faithfulness, self-control, kindness, gratitude, and love—a few of the virtuous traits that should be cultivated in every life.
Like the sun hitting your face on a crisp spring morning or the sweet crunch of the first bite of a tree-ripened apple, the virtues help our lives reflect the sweet and eternal beauty of God.
Tilled into the rich earth of the soul, and watered with spiritual disciplines, the virtues will help form a person into the leader, parent, spouse, employee, soldier, doctor, friend, or pastor that others want to be around. Follow. Emulate.
This little book is perfect for the graduate or as a personal or group study tool, or a birthday or Christmas present for all those on your list who want their lives to reflect God's grace and beauty to the world.
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