You DO have a virtue

Lately I’ve been wrestling with what it means, really means, to be created in the image of God (and our propensity to forget this truth). I’ve known this truth for many decades, but what exactly does it MEAN? When the scriptures tell us that the earth is God’s footstool, does that mean that we can be larger-than-life figures who can also rest our feet on earth like it’s a trendy pouf (those little round footstools in cool fabrics)? No. That cannot be right.

Do you know anything about the enneagram? If not, here’s a piece of it that pertains to this discussion. According to the enneagram, there are 9 “types” that represent each of our driving motivations. One aspect of this tool is a description of how each number has a particular “virtue.” Here are the nine virtues: serenity, humility, authenticity, equanimity, non-attachment, courage, sobriety, innocence and action. In this system, a holy virtue is the type-specific gift that each “type” has the capacity to contribute to the world.

This concept has caught my imagination. It has made me return again and again to this biblical notion that mankind is made “in the image of God” and I wonder - do each of us have the capacity to bear the image of God in a very specific, particular way?

I do love this idea; I hope it is true. I am intrigued to imagine that my baby body came pre-wired with the capacity to hold one particular characteristic of God.

For the next few days, we will wrestle with what this might mean for each of us. In the meantime, I wonder: do you have a sense of which virtue you are most capable of bringing to the world?