It’s Back & More Challenging Than Ever!

It’s back and more challenging than ever!

It is a truth universally acknowledged that virtuous living is not for the faint of heart. Trying to
navigate living in the world, without being too corrupted by it, is wearying.

Never fear, Virtue Ministry’s popular monthly ‘Virtue Challenge’ is back.

Doesn’t a Virtue Challenge, by its very definition, denote a lot of hard work? Yes, it sure does. But
you’d be willing to take on a bootcamp, or less intensive diet and exercise regimen to improve your
physical fitness and physique – and your overall health wouldn’t you?

So why not consider this as your spiritual bootcamp? Or a spiritual re-boot.

Interested? Of course you are, there’s no fence sitting if you want to grow in the virtues. Time to roll
up your sleeves and get your hands dirty!

What it involves:

Each month the VM team will be focusing on a particular virtue that we’ll all be working on. That’s
right – we’re all doing it too – making this more of a team effort than an individual event.

We’ll provide plenty of content for you to mull over. In addition to our regular column in Together,
we’ll also be featuring a couple of blog posts each month that feature differing perspectives on the
monthly virtue, from varying team members.

Our socials will feature more tips, quotes and links to content that will encourage you to come along
with us for the ride.

Take Courage

We’re kicking off the Virtue Challenge with…drum roll please…courage.
Ah, courage. What is courage?

The Meriam Webster dictionary defines courage as: mental or moral strength to venture, persevere,
and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty. I quite like the sound of that.

When Moses died, the leadership of God’s chosen people fell to Joshua, son of Nun. God
encouraged him: “I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or
dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

Which is obviously a good thing, the wandering Israelites were something of a handful, the success
of their exodus did not depend on them, but on God working through His chosen instruments. No
doubt Joshua could have been completely overwhelmed by the challenge.

Of course, we know now that he wasn’t and would succeed in leading the Israelites into the
promised land – even though walking around the walls numerous times seemed questionable at the

What Joshua’s leadership demonstrates the ability to use his moral strength to persevere, withstand
difficulties including rogue Israelites and the impressive walls of Jericho, secure in the knowledge of
God’s presence.

We should be trying to emulate this. That doesn’t mean that we need to perform grand gestures,
courageous feats that bowl others over with their incredibility.

Nor are we even looking for obvious outward signs of inward transformation. I think we all know
that virtue is more subtle than that.

Rather, we’re looking for small – perhaps otherwise hidden – areas in which we need to exercise
courage. Perhaps it’s summoning the courage to have that hard conversation we’ve been putting off
for a long time now, or having the courage to forgive and move on from a hurt that we’ve been
carrying around unnecessarily.

When I describe courage to my own children I try to keep it simple: courage is doing the right thing
even when we’re scared. Sounds simple, but difficult to do in practice.

This month, consider some areas in which you have been avoiding doing the right thing because
you’re afraid, or not prepared to persevere. You might be avoiding any of these areas because of
fear of other people’s reactions or censure, fear of retaliation or even just fear of people not taking
you seriously or belittling your concerns.

I get it. It’s very easy to pass over these types of situations by telling ourselves that ‘we’re no good at
saying these things on the spot’, or, ‘I’m no good at confrontation’ or even, ‘this isn’t my place,
someone else can do it’.

Maybe the most courageous thing you can do now is to embark upon the Virtue Challenge, and see
the whole month out.

What you need to do:

Join in! Getting started is half the battle.

Pray to the Holy Spirit to enlighten you to the areas in your own life where you need to exercise a
little more courage.

Examine your progress daily, as part of your nightly examen, but don’t be discouraged by your
progress, or lack thereof. Each day is a fresh slate so don’t be afraid to get up and try again.

Find an accountability partner. This can be a friend who will help you stay on track and you can
provide the same support for them.

Follow Virtue Ministry on your favourite socials for more inspiration and guidance to cultivate virtue!

Written by

Emily Shaw – VM Writer and Graphic Designer. 

Wife of one, mother of 8. Tackling growth in virtue one (baby) step at a time.

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