Developing virtue, those Godly habits of the heart, is like playing the guitar according to my guitar playing friend. In the beginning, when you are learning to play, you have to be very focused. This finger here – that finger there. Curve them just so and hold the strings down tight. Tell your fingers what to do.
But ask any guitar player, “When you play a D chord, do you say to your fingers – OK, index finger here, ring finger on that string?” No – it just happens. Young guitar players practice so much that finally their fingers just moved automatically.
When my friend is leading worship, he doesn’t have to try really hard to get that D chord right. He doesn’t get out his ““Guitar for Dummies” book in order to find the rules for guitar playing. He just plays. The Lord has gifted him with musical talents and he has practiced really hard for years so that when he gets in front of the congregation it just flows.
Colossians 3:16 states, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”
Paul is commanding us to actively decide to put ourselves in a place where God can shape our hearts through his Word. How does the word of Christ dwell in you?
You’ve got to read it.
You’ve got to sing it.
You’ve got to think about it.
As the word of God sinks into you, your actions will change. The Holy Spirit will guide you. I don’t know how. I can’t tell you the answer to every moral dilemma you will face. I can give you some basics – do not murder, do not lie, do not commit adultery, do not covet.
But those are easy compared to being a man or woman whose life is full of compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience – those virtues Paul lists in Colossians 3:12.
Soften your heart by soaking your mind in the scriptures – let virtue flow!