We Americans take pride in our soldiers. We know without doubt they are the best in the world. They are brave, dedicated, hardworking, disciplined…. In fact, more than most, we expect them to embody the Seven Virtues.

  • Chastity: We usually think of chastity with respect to sexual conduct. Yet because of stories about soldiers chasing after women in foreign nations, chastity may not be a virtue most associate with solders. Nonetheless, we should. In a broader sense chastity is about keeping oneself pure and clean. Unless a soldier strives to remain morally wholesome, he cannot pull himself together to overcome difficult obstacles. Therefore, the military discourages infidelity, fraternization between subordinates and superiors, the use of intoxicants, and many other filthy habits. (Titus 1:15)
  • Temperance: Combat requires self-discipline, a response appropriate to the threat. That is one reason the military stresses training, practicing the techniques of combat as realistically as possible. When in actual combat, success requires a cool, calm, and controlled use of force. So soldiers must learn the wisdom of temperance. (1 Corinthians 9:24-27)
  • Charity: Successful families, communities, and nations bind themselves together in love. Such is also true of armies. In successful armies, soldiers learn to love and respect the men and women in their units, battalions, brigades, divisions,…..thus, they become willing to serve for duty, honor, and country (see Duty, Honor, Country by General Douglas MacArthur. (1 Corinthians 13)
  • Diligence: War is hard work. To defeat an enemy force, soldiers must work harder than that enemy force. But the slothful soldier will not train, work on fortifications, dig latrines, prepare food, clean weapons….. So the slothful soldier must either be taught to practice diligence or removed from the ranks. (Proverbs 12:24)
  • Patience: War is hell, a hell that must be endured even to the point of forgiving the enemy who inflicts that hell. Without patience — the ability to find an inner peace, a soldier cannot endure. (Revelation 3:8-10)
  • Kindness: A soldier must strive to be unconditionally considerate of his subordinates, respectful of his comrades, and loyal to superiors. The success of combat operations depends on trust. Such trust we can only build by daily demonstrating ourselves worthy of it.  (Job 6:14)
  • Humility: When we are humble, we behave as servants of God. We submit to His will. With such humility a soldier can willingly submit his will to the authority and the orders his superiors, trusting they also are obedient to our Lord’s will. (Philippians 2:1-11)

Ironically, we no longer have much respect for the civilians we put in charge of our soldiers. Although it requires highly virtuous men and women to overcome the strife that arises from politics, because we find politicians so repugnant, most of us find politics repugnant.

What has happened to our political system? I fear the answer lies in us. When we vote, we do not practice the same virtues we demand from our soldiers. Instead of electing virtuous statesmen, men and women dedicated to protecting our rights to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness, we too often choose politicians, slick-talking thieves who promise us other people’s things.

The prospect we might vote for the wrong reason should horrify us. When we put our government, including our military, under the command of people unworthy of such trust, we endangered our nation, our communities, and our families.

Galatians 5:13-26 (Today’s New International Version)

Life by the Spirit

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

Please join us in prayer as we ask the Lord to help each of us to cast our votes with the blessings of fruit of the Spirit.

Information Sources

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Thank you.

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