14 Christian Virtues to Guard Diligently

“To him, that overcomes…even as I also overcame” Rev 3:21

Here is a list of good virtues that I assimilated from Benjamin Franklin, which he had sketched for his son.  As a new Christian, in my 20s, I heard about this book from Mark Johnson, a pastor-friend. I read Franklin’s list and added a biblical perspective with scripture attending and stuck it in my bible’s flyleaf.

In retrospect, it made a lot of sense for a young man with a growing family. It is interesting to look back at your life to see how you thought and applied scripture and lifestyle disciplines. Today, having worked in the Lord’s service as an elder, nearing 70, I realize that I prefer to let the Holy Spirit guide me in my planning, which allows for peaceful contemplation as I seek His will. I also recognize that Franklin’s wisdom had a place in time to help me learn basic discipline especially if the Word can stand behind the thesis without pushing legalism.

  1. TEMPERANCE:  Eat not to dullness; gain sufficient sleep for the next day. 1 Cor 3:16, 17; Luke 12:45,46; Ps 127:2
  2. PREPARATION:  Take the Word from the morning study with you after you have attained Love, Joy, and Peace in your heart through prayerful meditation. Gain possession of a strong purpose in Christ. Eph 6:12, 13, 17; Gal 5:22; Ps 143:8
  3. HUMILITY:  Walk as Jesus did, free from pride and vanity. James 4:6,10; John 1:35-37; Prov 28:18; Ps 56:13; Ps 89:15,16; Ps 119:45, Isa 30:21; Rom 6:4; Eph 5:2; Col 2:6,7
  4. SILENCE:  Speak not but when it is for the constructive edification of another, through a demonstration of the love of Christ.  If you speak, speak accordingly.  James 3:2; Eph 4:29, 30 James 1:26; Ps 139:4
  5. ORDER:  Let all things have their places; plan each part of your business to have its time and priority. Practice regularity in rising, study, eating, work, exercise, and sleeping. Ps 119:133; 1 Cor 14:33, 40; Col 2:5; Ps 37:23
  6. RESOLUTION:  Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.  Do not vacillate. Gal 6:9; Prov 22:29
  7. INDUSTRY: Lose no time; be always employed in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions. The watchwords of enthusiasm: Love what you are called to do, assume your responsibility; do it now; Rom 12:10, 11; Prov 10:4,5; 18:9; Eph 6:5-8
  8. FRUGALITY:  Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; waste nothing and stay within the constraints of income. Save 10-20% of your income. Prov 21:20; John 6:11-13
  9. JUSTICE: Wrong no one by slander or hurtful deceit or by omitting any kindness within your power to bestow. James 4:11, 17; 2:14-17; 1 John 3:17-20; Isa 58:6-8; Prov 25:9; 10:18
  10. TRANQUILITY: Patiently forebear resenting injuries so much even as you think another deserves.  Freely forgive all men. Eph. 4:31, 32; 2 Tim 4:5
  11. MODERATION: Avoid dogmatic, critical opinion.  If you are right, persuade through words such as: I see; I imagine it to be…; Seems to me to be so; Seems to be some difference…; It appears to me at present, etc. rather than: no…; I think…; You should…; For sure…; That’s not true, etc. yet stand firm to principle using tact and skillful conversation.  Matt 10:16; Prov 25:11; 1 Thess 2:5
  12. EXERCISE: Do not let a day pass without a twenty-minute walk outdoors and ten for leg raises situps and pushups. Ps 104:24; 3 John 2 
  13. CLEANLINESS:  Tolerate no uncleanliness in body clothes or habitation.  Drink plenty of water. Fast occasionally 2 Cor 7:1; Luke 5:35
  14. CHASTITY: Guard the mind against entertaining the lusts of the flesh.  Be aware of environmental influences. Gal 5:16; 1 Thess 5:6; Eph 6:18; Rev 3:2; 1 Cor 16:13; Matt 5:28; 1 John 2:16; James 1:14, 15

Flyleaf of my old Oxford KJV.