Teaching of Virtue
Although our mind is empty of data when we’re born, we come pre-programmed with a moral compass—our soul—drawn toward good. So when we do things that are good and aligned with God’s will, we feel fulfilled. When we do not, we feel unfulfilled.
The interesting thing is, you can’t cheat this. When you do things like lie, gossip, or lose self-control, you are left feeling a sense of emptiness. And yes, if you do those things long enough, you may become numb to them, but in the depths of your soul, you still feel unfulfilled because you know those things are not of good moral nature. Conversely, when you do anything good and in accordance with God’s will, such as acting righteous, noble, or courageous—you feel fulfilled, even when faced with very difficult and painful situations.
In short, when we do good (God’s will), we are fulfilled; and the more good we do, the more fulfilled we are. When we avoid the good or do things that are not God’s will, we feel unfulfilled; and the more we do that, the more empty we feel.
Socrates said, “What most counts is not merely to live, but to live right.” In other words, “What fulfills us most is not merely to live, but to live right.”
But before you can live the right life, you must learn the right life. To that end, do as Seneca suggested and — “Let virtue lead the way.”
Scroll down for the related scriptures, quotes, and lesson plan associated with this teaching.
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“Your immortal spirit is in every one of them, and so you gently correct those who sin against you. You remind them of what they are doing, and warn them about it, so that they may abandon their evil ways and put their trust in you, Lord.” — The Wisdom of Solomon 12:1-2 (GNTD)
“Sometimes your own intuition can tell you more than seven watchmen on a high tower.” — Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) 37:14 (GNBDK)
“The path of the just turns away from evils. He who guards his soul preserves his way.” — Proverbs 16:17 (CPDV)
“They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them.” — Romans 2:15 (ESV)
“Do not allow evil to prevail, instead prevail over evil by means of goodness.” — Romans 12:21 (CPDV)
“So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” — James 4:17 (ESV)
“The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.” — Romans 8:6 (NIV)
“The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves.” — Romans 14:22 (ESV)
“And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.” — Isaiah 30:21 (ESV)
“Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” — Hebrews 10:22 (ESV)
“Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things.” — Hebrews 13:18 (ESV)
“Holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting this, some have made shipwreck of their faith.” — 1 Timothy 1:19 (ESV)
“The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” — 1 Timothy 1:5 (ESV)
“They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.” — 1 Timothy 3:9 (ESV)
“So I always take pains to have a clear conscience toward both God and man.” — Acts 24:16 (ESV)
“For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God, and supremely so toward you.” — 2 Corinthians 1:12 (ESV)
“Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God.” — 1 John 3:21 (ESV)
“The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all his innermost parts.” — Proverbs 20:27 (ESV)
“Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” — Proverbs 4:23 (ESV)
“What most counts is not merely to live, but to live right.” — Socrates
“Every judgment of conscience, be it right or wrong, be it about things evil in themselves or morally indifferent, is obligatory, in such wise that he who acts against his conscience always sins.” — St. Thomas Aquinas
“Our difficulty is not that we don't know God's will. Our discomfort comes from the fact that we do know His will, but we do not want to do it.” — Henry Blackaby
“A willing heart is the first step in finding God's will in our lives. We cannot expect God to force us or to plead with us about the calling in our lives.” — David Jeremiah
“If, then, you are looking for the way by which you should go, take Christ because He Himself is the way.” — St. Thomas Aquinas
“Do what you feel in your heart to be right [with God] – for you’ll be criticized [by the world] anyway.” — Eleanor Roosevelt
“The high-minded man must care more for the truth than for what people think.” ― Aristotle
“When intuition and logic agree, you are always right.” — Blaise Pascal
“Intuition is a spiritual faculty and does not explain, but simply points the way.” — Florence Scovel Shinn
“Prayer is telephoning to God and intuition is God telephoning to you.” — Florence Scovel Shinn
For your family, small group, or personal reflection.
STEP 1: Introduction
Example: "I'm going to play a short video on the topic of our moral compass. After the video, I have some questions to gather your thoughts and get the discussion started. We’ll then wrap up with a closing prayer."
STEP 2: Watch Video (or listen)
Watch (or listen to) the video of the teaching (cast to your TV via YouTube). If time allows, also read the teaching, related Scriptures, and related quotes.
STEP 3: Discussion / Reflection
How does understanding your moral compass being your soul, drawn toward goodness (God’s will), influence or change the way you look at life?
How does it make you feel when you do things that go against your moral compass?
How does it make you feel when you follow your moral compass, even when faced with very difficult or painful situations?
What are some examples in your life when you sense your moral compass pulling you to do something, even though you don’t feel like it?
What are some things you can do to better follow your moral compass in your life?
Did any of the related Scriptures or quotes stand out to you (please elaborate)?
Any other thoughts you’d like to share?
STEP 4: Wrap Up & Closing Prayer
Summarize and wrap up the discussion. Then, conclude with a sincere and humble prayer from the heart.