On Christian Virtue
I think that the difficulty we have with the “Christian Virtues” (love, compassion, mercy, forgiveness, etc.) is not that we don’t believe they are valuable or worthwhile, it is that like anything of value, they come at a high cost. But, unlike material “valuables” in which one pays a price to possess the good for themselves, the price of virtue is paid by the person giving it, not the one who receives it. This is precisely why it feels so difficult to be “virtuous”. In the world’s kingdom we get what we pay for, I benefit from my investment, but in God’s kingdom, when I show love, or mercy, or forgiveness, it is the person I am showing these virtues to that benefits from my investment. That is the core nature of God’s kingdom and the economy we agree to live by when we call ourselves Christ followers. This why Jesus warns us that if we are going to follow him there is a price to it (Matt. 16:24, Luke 14:25-30). But, this is also the example that Jesus gave to us. Even though we did nothing to earn it, he paid the price to repair our relationship with God (Rom. 5:8). So, we also must pay the price to share the love of God with others.