This past Sunday, my pastor, Hardie Davis Jr., talked about the Nine Virtues of the Holy Spirit. As he laid them out and then defined them, I realized that there were a few that I needed to work on. I decided to write them down and recite them to remind myself about them.
When I say all things align in the universe, I mean that things in life seem to connect for a reason. At least I feel like that was the case on this day.
After church, I had a session with Dr. Janet (she’s a Positivity life coach doing a study on successful women). In the session she asked me about my character strengths, what I thought they were and how they affected the people around me.
I went blank; after all, one never really thinks about herself in that way. I replied by saying “I really don’t know. I guess I’d have to ask the people in my circle.” Then I asked her as someone who knew me “What do you think they are?”
“Well, Cher,” she said, “as I observe the things that you do and how excited you get when you talk about your work with girls and women, I am reminded of a quote by Mahatma Gandhi; Be the change that you wish to see in the world. I think that resonates with who you are.”
Immediately flattered, I said thank you and told her I would give it more thought and be able to better answer that question for myself at the next session.
After getting off the phone, I picked up the notes I had written from church and read them aloud: “Walking in the Holy Spirit involves moment-by-moment sensitivity. There are nine virtues … 1. Love – for those that do not love you in return; 2. Joy – in the midst of painful circumstances; 3. Peace – when something you were counting on doesn’t come through; 4. Patience – when things are not going fast enough for you; 5. Kindness – toward those who treat you unkindly; 6. Goodness – toward those who have been intentionally insensitive to you; 7. Faithfulness – when friends have proven unfaithful; 8. Gentleness – toward those that have handled you roughly; 9. Self Control – in the midst of intense temptation.”
I thought it rather interesting that the virtues that I needed to work on and the character observation that I had been complimented with all centered on growth and change. Even more interesting was the fact that I had gotten a double dose of practically the same message.
I think in the end all that I can do is try to be as good a me as possible and to strive toward living a purpose-filled life. Certainly Mahatma Gandhi would be ok with that … and if he wasn’t, perhaps he needs to revisit virtue No. 7.