Examine principle ethical theories to gain understanding for how principle ethical theories impact ethical decision-making. Explore ways of how to demonstrate humility and a willingness to examine your own behavior, biases, attitudes, and perspectives, cultivate a desire to allow Scripture to shape one’s decisions in life, work, and society, and practice the ability to engage in skillful and winsome dialogue on ethical issues.
1. Examine the descriptions of Christian virtues as presented in Matthew 5:1–12, the ‘Sermon on the Mount’ and Galatians 5:22–23 , the ‘Fruit of the Spirit’.
2. Choose a practical assignment from the list below. Focus on practicing one of these Christian virtues on a regular basis. Justify your selection.
A. Practice a hunger and thirst for righteousness through a deeper relationship with God as demonstrated in Matthew 5:5. Set aside periods of Bible reading and prayer during five separate days (30 minutes or more each time). Take brief notes on your thoughts and prayers.
B. Practice the actions of a peacemaker as shown in Matthew 5:9. Pray on five separate days for individuals who have offended you and with whom you have a broken relationship. If possible, take the initiative in restoring this relationship, asking forgiveness if necessary.
C. Practice an attitude of joy and gratitude as stated in Galatians 5:22. Take time on five separate days to take notes and reflect on the positive blessings that you have in your life. Resist the temptation to be negative and critical.
D. Practice random acts of kindness and goodness, as stated in Galatians 5:22. Take time to do something extraordinary and generous for a neighbor or stranger (e.g. buy food for a homeless person).
E. Practice patience and self-control also stated in Galatians 5:22. Demonstrate patience when frustrated or angry in a situation. When something goes wrong, focus on maintaining emotional composure and do not get angry.
3. Keep a journal of the experience.
4. Summarize what you learned from the exercise and how life would change if the virtue was practiced in your life on a regular basis.