William Shakespeare wrote in his early Seventeenth Century play Measure for Measure,
“Virtue is bold, and goodness never fearful.”
From the aspects of morality that we all can do nothing about but live, we find this is an extraordinary faith-held truth. Virtue cannot by nature protect itself. It has no thought for itself. Love only has thoughts for others, and in faith it is most brilliantly and comprehensively provided for.
Whenever we have so much of ourselves invested in life that we start to constantly stew about what we’re getting versus what we’re not getting we’ve fallen for the trap to fear.
Our virtue we’ve released to the lowest bidder—that ingenious priceless possession.
Giving Away What We Cannot Keep to Gain What We Cannot Lose
This is the central biblical principle of the cross.
Virtue stands alone and unafraid for it only looks forward and outwardly. With wisdom it can risk with confidence for it won’t take risks that are ridiculous; only those that are parallel to, or approaching, the sublime.
We give away our very selves because God has said by his Word, wisdom and Spirit that we may not keep it. Keep things for ourselves, like entrapping happiness, is a ludicrous notion. It never works. The whole of life works to these ends that we may only keep what we cannot lose. And these are the things of God; this is virtue—God’s free gift to every last one wise enough to accept, grasp and exploit it.
The possession of virtue tells us there’s no good reason to fear, to accumulate blessing, achievement, acclamation; for these things are like flowers, wilting in the heat, and withering as we speak. They have no eternal value for they speak of no lasting legacy without virtue in tow.
Virtue has it and fear does not. Fear not.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.