Virtue or Blessing?

It would be useful if we could differentiate between the virtue inherent in our choices vs. our blessings.   I keep having the conversation with friends who don’t want to say that they’re intelligent so as not to be prideful.  That, IMO, is as silly as denying how tall you are.

It is good to be healthy.   How much of that is your genes, and how much of it is the product of your daily choices?   You can take credit for the latter.

It is good to be beautiful.  Most of physical beauty is genetic lottery, choices made by your forebears (particularly the nutritional choices that your mother made, and her mother before her), age, and circumstance.    Adornment and maintenance are your choices.

It is good to be smart.  Your choice to dull your mind or sharpen it, use your wits to improve the world or damage it – those are to your credit or not.  Your IQ was given to you.

There are many facets of life, and much of it was handed to you.  You’re not living in the slums of India digging through trash to find enough calories to keep you from starvation, and it’s not your virtue that made that difference.   God’s grace, the choices of generations past, etc, got you here.  Contrariwise, if you’re afflicted with a horrible illness or burdened by the results of sin-not-your-own, that’s not your choice either.

But we all have choice.   What will you do with what was given to you?  If you were given much, you are obliged to use it to honor God.  If you are given little, you are obliged to use it to honor God.  God is not honored simply in the end result, He is honored in your choice to bring what you have to Him.

So please stop lying about what you were given.  Instead, look at it as a solemn obligation.

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