With the 4th of July coming this week, I thought I’d talk to you about Benjamin Franklin. As one of the signers of the Constitution, Mr. Franklin did a lot to formulate our nation. And what an interesting man he was!
A number of years ago, I read Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography. For me, his personal faith is what intrigued me. Franklin believed in a distant God; one that should be loved and prayed to, but a God that was not ever-present in an individual’s life.
What caught my attention so much about Franklin was his enunciation of twelve virtues: silence, order, resolution, frugality, industry, sincerity, justice, moderation, cleanliness, tranquility, and chastity. He kept these virtues in a notebook, trying to achieve perfection in them daily. He believed that keeping these morals would make him right with God.
If you made a list of virtues, what would they look like? Would you think the same of God as Franklin did? Would you seek to achieve perfection?
All valid questions. Why don’t you spend a bit of time thinking of how the Lord shows himself in your life? Is he a distant force for you? You are probably not as organized as Franklin was in listing a virtuous life, but do you have several virtues that you try to live by? Are they like Franklin’s, or do they show a different type of person?
It’s a useful exercise to think about virtues and God’s role in your life. Are we justified with God by keeping a set of virtues? I know that I have a few ideas for myself. Why don’t you jot down a few ideas and share them with your family and friends over the 4th?
Have a blessed holiday!