Skip to main content

Virtuous governance

There’s something beautiful about longevity. This four-day weekend, a range of events will mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee – 60 years on the throne. We’ll watch the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant, take part in the Big Jubilee Lunch, and enjoy the Jubilee Concert. The final day of the long weekend will be marked by a service of thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral attended by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, during which aspecial prayer will be offered for her.
 
The Psalmist muses that those who dwell in the shelter of the only true Sovereign and rest in His shadow will be satisfied with long life and shown His salvation (Psalm 91). It reflects the shalom intended for humanity. The contrast with lives that were brutally cut short in recent weeks could not be starker. Dark shadows were cast when 49 children were killed in the Houla region and six kids died in Derby when their house was set on fire. Longevity and shalom seem light years away from these tragedies.
 
The Catholic mass to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee also contains a special prayerfor the Queen, requesting that in her governance she continue to grow in every virtue.In his book Virtue Reborn, N.T. Wright shows that virtue occurs when our habitual choices have been wise. In Proverbs, wisdom is personified in a woman. Wisdom invites us to come and learn. She will keep and guard us and place a graceful garland, a beautiful crown on our head (4:9).
 
Wisdom is needed to be genuinely human and therefore vital to good governance. Whether our vocation concerns governance of the family, classroom, boardroom, city, or nation, we need to be virtuous people. The woman in Proverbs 31 is such a gem. A home-maker, entrepreneur and artisan whose character is noble and whose heart is big. She loves her work, her family and those in need. She mentors with sound advice. A diamond with many facets. Undoubtedly, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of her wisdom. No wonder her husband is proud of her. His praise crowns her virtuous life.
 
Solomon started as a virtuous leader, who did not ask for himself long life or riches, but understanding to discern what is right. In response, God promised him a wise and discerning mind (1 Kings 3:11-14). Yet, much was lost along the way and, subsequently, dark shadows were cast instead of light. N.T. Wright asserts: “From a Christian point of view, then, virtue cannot be conceived solely in terms of the individual journey from a standing start to a future destination. It belongs within an end that has already begun, an eschatology that has already been inaugurated.”
 
If like the woman in Proverbs 31, we want to smile at the days to come, we need to grow as virtuous worshippers, allowing wisdom to shape all facets of our life into the diamond He has in mind. Each life individually highlighting the beauty, relevance, joy and compassion of the Christian life and the enduring hope for God’s suffering world; and collectively, even more so.
 
Enjoy the party in honour of the Queen. Beyond that, may we live long lives in honour of the King and see His salvation.
 
Marijke Hoek, coordinator Forum for Change - Evangelical Alliance

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

When God turns a deaf ear on prayers

Does God always hear people’s prayers, or do some pray in vain thinking that God hears them, when in reality He chooses to turn a deaf hear to their cries? Some may perhaps have a notion that all prayers are worthy, and God being who He is is by nature willing to listen and hear their prayers delightfully. They entertain the notion that it is their birth right for God to listen to their prayers and answer them accordingly. Also, there are some who come before the presence of the Lord with severe doubts, defeated by the devils whisper that they are such an unworthy soul that for them to lift up their cries to the Lord is an abomination. They are mute by their own wickedness, depressed and thus fail to pray.

What does the scripture say about God turning a deaf hear to prayers? It is to be said that God is sovereign and can choose to answer any prayer as He sees fit. He is altogether happy and never backed into a corner, God always does whatever He pleases for He is free to do as He wills…

What does it mean to live a godly life?

If you ever asked yourself the question, what does it mean to live a godly life? and if your not exactly sure what living a godly life involves, this extract taking from Charles Seet book 'A Christian in a non-Christian world' provides ample guidance on just what to do.

Now it is worth asking the question then, 'What does it mean to live godly?' It does not mean that we are just to confine ourselves within a set of rules and regulations. Some people reduce godly living to a list of 'do’s and don'ts.' But the meaning of godly living goes far deeper than that.

Godly living means living in the manner that God wants us to live. It means having the same feelings, attitudes and heart's desires that God has. It means that we love the things that God loves, care for the things that God cares for, and dislike those things which He dislikes. And since God loves righteousness, a godly person also loves righteousness. Since God hates sin, a godly person also hates …

Women of the Bible: Adah and Zillah

The Sin of Adam and Eve resulted in the fall of humanity. Every generation after them became wicked and that is why scripture affirms, ‘that there is no one righteous, no, not even one.’ Mankind became enslave to the passions of its flesh, its desires became its ruler and men followed the natural dictates of their hearts; and were it not for Sovereign grace, the race of men would now only be read of by angels in the library of extinct creatures. Adam and Eve witnessed the consequences of their sin in the death of their beloved son, Abel, by the hands of Cain who murdered his brother in anger and was thus sent away from the presence of God. My dear sisters, sin is not only sin when it is found in its extremes, sin is also sin in its subtlety and vanity. Sin is sin when one's affection is set on another and not on God, when one lives to please a thing or a being which is not God; this is also sin.
This becomes especially evident in the lives of Adah and Zillah the wives of Lamech. Th…