Four Cardinal Virtues – Part Two

The ancient Greeks considered there to be four vital virtues. They are:


Prudence is practical wisdom that leads to good choices and results in successful living. Consider the A, B, Cs of these self-imposed tests of your decisions. Acceptability: Will this decision please the Lord?

Benefit: If this is exposed will it cause embarrassment?

Consequence: Am I prepared to live with the consequence?

In our feel good selfie society, persons often give primary consideration to feelings, emotions rein in making decisions. In making decisions it is imperative to reverse those roles. We must think first, then consider feelings.

Every path has a puddle. Everyone is a test of our character. How we respond to them is a revelation of who we are. “The integrity of the upright will guide them…” (Proverbs 11:3)

Temptation awaits our responsibility. Counsel that is applicable to all is specifically addressed to youth: “Flee… youthful lusts” (II Timothy 2:22).

The word “flee” means to run so fast as to kick up dust.

Flee and don’t leave a forwarding address.

Psalm 15 notes that in the eyes of a person of character “a vile person is despised”(Vs. 4). That is, there is no playful tolerance with evil. They do not develop friends of base, crude, evil, foul or gross persons.

Conversely a prudent person “honors those who fear the Lord” (Psalm 15: 4b).

Justice is the second of the four vital virtues. Justice centers on acts of fairness, honesty, and the rules of law.

Psalm 15: 2 gives three descriptive terms for such a person:

First: “He walks uprightly…” This is one translation of the Hebrew word for “integrity.” (vs. 2a). He leads an uncorrupted life.

Second: “And works righteousness…” (Vs. 2b). He does what is right.

Third: “He speaks truth from his heart…” (Vs. 2c).

This type of person tells the truth plain and simple. He doesn’t have a personal glossary of terms as defined by himself.  He doesn’t play word games. He avoids semantical sand traps.

An old Hebrew translation of this is: “One who doesn’t trip over his own tongue.”

An iconic person of justice who embodies those traits is to be admired. Reflect on them and objectively evaluate how well you consistently embody them.