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A Personal Virtue Vision for Real Life Change

                                                                                          Sacred Heart by Jim Baker

A “Personal Virtue Vision” develops an individualized picture of change in specific areas of life, and then develops training plans to accomplish it. For example, I must first envision what a Christ centered virtue would look like in particular areas of my life:

Money: If I were out of control in spending and full of greed, what would it be like to be content with my possessions and free to be generous with what I have?

Anger or Control: If I were angry and controlling, what would it look like to be able to put away anger quickly and trust God for outcomes rather than manipulate circumstances or people to accomplish my perception of what is best?

Fear or Worry: If I were living in fear or worried about matters, what would it be like to be able to trust God’s providence and provision and be peaceful, no matter the circumstances?

From these insights you will want to identify an actual plan of practices, disciplines and training exercises that will help bring about the behaviors you have envisioned.

A Three Step Process

Step One: Read and prayerfully reflect on this passage from the Message Bible: II Peter 1:3-11. Begin to think and pray about an area of life where God is leading you to establish a virtue vision.

Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God. The best invitation we have ever received! We were also given absolutely terrific promises to pass on to you – your tickets to participation in the life of God after you turned your back on a world corrupted by lust.

So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with *good character, *spiritual understanding, *alert discipline, *passionate patience, *reverent wonder, *warm friendliness and *generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others.

With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus. Without these qualities you can’t see what’s right before you, oblivious that your old sinful life has been wiped off the books.

So, friends, confirm God’s invitation to you, his choice of you. Don’t put if off; do it now. Do this, and you’ll have your life on a firm footing, the streets paved and the way wide open into the eternal kingdom of our Master and Savior, Jesus Christ.

*Good character – the areas of life you envision God’s goodness to touch, the areas you decide to establish a virtue vision in to be more like Christ in your life.

*Spiritual understanding – scriptures & other knowledge you can learn about that area.

*Alert discipline – the practices & habits you train with to bring life change.

*Passionate patience – the continued attempts at obedience that in this area of life, that will be hard at first, but eventually as you endure, will supernaturally become a natural part of a new you in your behaviors and attitudes.

*Reverent wonder – this will require all your effort to abandon yourself to God’s power and grace to change you in that area.

*Warm friendliness – evidence of real change is that you are a more loving person to others due to change in that area.

*Generous love – you are more loving to others in this area where you have changed even when some are indifferent to, offended by or even hostile to you due to the change in you.

Step Two: Prayerfully read the passages listed below. Use these scriptures to help you identify any recurring thought, feeling, attitude, behavior, habit or sin to be transformed. As you read make a note of anything that seems like it could be an area you might consider on the attached worksheet.

Read a chapter in Proverbs {one or two chapters from chapters 10-28} and notice if an attitude, behavior or character trait, negative or positive, grabs your attention, complaining, listening, talking less, jealousy/envy, etc.

Read the Love chapter, I Corinthians 13, kindness, thinking only the best of another, not reviling back, etc.

Read Romans chapters 12-14, Ephesians chapters 4-6 or Colossians chapters 3-4 thinking the best of everyone, ingratitude, judgmental, etc.

Read the Sermon on the Mount chapters 5-7 and ponder if contempt, anger, half-truths/dishonesty, etc. characterize your life.

Step Three: Talk to a couple of your most trusted friends or family members and have them pray for you as you do this exercise. If you feel comfortable, ask them what they have any wisdom or nudging from God on your behalf to help you choose your virtue vision areas.

Step Four: What virtues do you feel drawn to by God in healthy conviction so that you are both sufficiently challenged and also looking forward to seeing transformed?

Step Five: Develop an actual plan of spiritual practices, disciplines and training exercises to pursue in each specific area you have identified to be transformed.

Once you practice intentional training, rather than just trying harder to be virtuous, you will experience God’s gracious enabling and the life pictured in Scriptures come alive.

A Personal Virtue Vision Worksheet


Posted on June 16, 2015

Jim Baker

Jim is a Church Organizational Leadership and Management Coach, Consultant and Trainer. Throughout his career Jim has demonstrated a passion for showing Pastors and Ministers how to use organizational tools for church and personal growth and health.

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“For I may be absent in body, but I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see how well ordered you are and the strength of your faith in Christ.” Colossians 2:5