You can preach a better sermon with your life than with your lips

“You can preach a better sermon with your life than with your lips.”

—Oliver Goldsmith, 18th Century Irish Poet

Over the past few years I have gained a great interest in history, with a particular emphasis on the lives of remarkable people who have shared our world.

In his book, The Road to Character, author David Brooks focuses on the deeper values that inform the lives of numerous pivotal figures. I had no knowledge of many of them before reading this book.

Introducing the terms “resumé virtues” and “eulogy virtues,” Brooks points to the external achievement of wealth, fame, and status, comparing them to qualities that lie at the core of our being, such as kindness, bravery, honesty, and faithfulness. How we balance the two types of virtues along our life journey represents the road to character we can choose to navigate and explore.

EXERCISE:

Who are the leaders and special individuals – today, and from the past – that helped you become the person you are today?

What examples did they set through their daily efforts as well as their words?

What sermons are you delivering each day in your personal and professional communities?

Virtue is not left to stand alone

“Virtue is not left to stand alone. He who practice it will have neighbors.”

—attributed to Confucius

cartoon of a neighborhood party

Image from KC Parent

How do you stack up as a good neighbor or close friend?

Consider rating yourself from one to ten – with one being low and ten being high – regarding the following attributes of the word, virtue:

  • Goodness
  • Morality
  • Integrity
  • Dignity
  • Honor
  • Decency
  • Respectability
  • Honesty
  • Service-Oriented
  • Ethical

EXERCISE:

How can and will you attract more professional and personal friends and neighbors to yourself by living an even more virtuous life?