"Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies." Proverbs 31:10
Virtue is defined as having or showing high moral standards but I like to compare virtue with- Integrity. When I think of virtue I see integrity which is the quality of having strong moral principles while being whole and undivided.Nothing can stop a person of integrity and virtue from doing what they know to be right and true.We live in a society that blends the lines of morality where good is evil and evil is good. There is now a time where we condone things that 100 years ago would have been a black and white case of sin. As times change like a forceful current raging, we find ourselves riding with the current of moral deprivation instead of grabbing onto something solid to gain a footing so we can reach the moral high ground. The pull of that current takes so much more a struggle to fight against, anymore now we feel weary like we are drowning in it.Who can find a virtuous woman, a person of integrity? It is rare. Most people do not have integrity anymore.
There is a lot of good intention but a lack of follow through.
Today, promises are made for the breaking.
My word is my bond...
This is an old saying. It used to be that you could take someone at their word. If they said they would be somewhere, you could trust that you will find them there when they say they will be there. If a person said they will help you, you could count on them. Too many times people offer great things but never have the integrity or virtue to make these great things happen. Intentions are but a puff of air in a vacuum where there is no action.
Many times I have heard a friend say "We have to get together sometime." In my mind I am thinking "Really? Sometime will never come." It is just too easy to say that phrase. Easy to roll off the tongue. Sometime. It satisfies the need to be nice for the sake of being nice. It qualifies a person as caring. My response is "When? When would you like to get together?" People are not ready for when. They like sometime. When you ask for a date, they fumble around and say, "We'll have to get in touch next week and see what the week brings." That is as good as saying "I am busy, if I get around to thinking of you next week, I may even be able to say, sometime again and give you enough nice to go on for another week until you get the point that I have no intention of getting together with you."
It is fun for me to actually set the date and see what happens. 9 out of 10 times something will come up for others. I have that feeling myself sometimes. I made a plan to get together or to help someone and then when the clock is staring me right in the face while I am busy doing something else, I get that same temptation to call and cancel. It takes a great measure of integrity to drop my project and just go and do as I promised. To keep my word. I guess that is more important to me than to finish what ever I was doing. What ever I was doing will be there when I get home.
The trick is to never make commitments if you can not keep them. I do not fault a person if they never offered in the first place. To the one that makes a vain offer but fails to follow through, I see this as a lack of virtue and integrity. Most times I have learned to figure that people will not show up at all and when they do, I am amazed. That is how bad it has gotten in our present society.
Things to do to gain virtue:
- Always say what you mean and mean what you say
- Always keep your promises or do not make them in the first place
- Deliver. If you offer some kind of service, make sure you always deliver
- Be on time
- Do what is right even when it seems impossible at times
- Be thankful in all things
- Be kind and show mercy
- Love your neighbor as yourself
Integrity is not something that a person can wear as a badge on their sleeve, it is something that defines a person. When a person has virtue, you will see a trail of integrity in all they put their hands and hearts to. It is not a series of unfinished dreams and projects or a life filled with broken promises, it is something as sure as the sun shining even when it is behind the clouds. It is always there giving light and warmth to the life of every person they touch.
Integrity is rare and something that carries value. Like a ruby.
Rubies are jewels that are found within rocks of the Earth. They are chiseled out of rough and dirty ground. The value of the ruby depends on several qualities. It is the color, cut, clarity, and carat weight that give the ruby it's value. I found it interesting that the most valuable rubies on Earth have the deepest color of blood red.
Interesting because our value as a Christian is not by what we have done, it is through the blood of Christ that we can be viewed as righteous. I like to think of my life as but dirt and rock with a shining ruby peeking out. The vast crumbling rock reveals the glorious ruby. The first thing that you see is the beautiful red glistening back, so clear you can see your refection. Just like God sees that blood applied and His reflection as He gazes upon its precious luster.
A Ruby in the Rough...
If we are virtuous and have integrity our worth is far above that of the most prized rubies this Earth has to yield up. We are precious first because of His blood but also because we stand for what is right even when it is inconvenient. When we are shamed or reviled we continue to have the integrity to stand undivided holding to the truth we know in our hearts. Our pureness is that of a precious ruby, clear and true.
It is rare. We know this because God's word wonders where this virtuous woman can be found. Let us be that jewel to adorn our Lord and our husband. Let us be a reflection and glory of our God each day.
Lord, help us be all we can be by the grace and mercy of the blood you poured out to cleanse and purify our souls. It is the only way we can be prized far above the ruby.