“And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.”
—1 Corinthians 13:13 (NRSV)
The life of virtue is the human challenge of following the Divine example—discipleship to Jesus Christ our Lord. In Christ’s life we see these three virtue exemplified, epitomised, emphasised.
Faith As a Vehicle for Wise Living
Faith combines with wisdom and truth to be as a vehicle that will get us from Point A to Point B in life—from life to eternal life, in series, ultimately, with a litany of virtuous decisions having been made. Through wisdom we can discern truth. Through faith we can decide and then do what is best for each given situation. Through faith-of-action we prove we follow God. And through faith we travel from moment to moment in the right order of things.
Through faith we live the virtuous life.
Hope As the Fuel of Wise Living
Every vehicle, whether animate or inanimate, needs fuel. Through energy we produce energy. With hope we have the motivational basis to do good works; to live the life of faith; to follow hard after a wise example; to take tough decisions in our stride because they are right.
Hope underpins faith.
Without hope our faith would flounder, but when we are hopeless, yet faithful, our faith is revealed as truly golden. This, perhaps, is the greatest test of faith—to exist and travel devoid of hope. But otherwise hope and faith are enjoined. And in hopelessness, it may even be said, with faith, reveals an even more invisible and indefinable strength of hope.
Love as A Reason for Movement
If faith is the vehicle of virtuous activity, the way we please God in life, and hope underpins it as the fuel of that vehicle, love is the very reason for movement. Vehicles imply movement. We only need a vehicle if we need to move. And life is a pilgrimage of movement. As the passage of time attests, all things move and change to the direction of God.
In life, we have no option but to move, and love is the reason for movement. If we have no love we are devoid of hope and have no strength for faith. But with love comes empowering hope and strength for faith.
Love is the reason for all this. If not for love, life would have no meaning, no basis, no purpose, and no rationale.
Faith, hope, and love are the components of life. These three alone take us from point to point in our lives, and give us the ability to live the virtuous life. With these three we are able to move in alignment to the will of God.
What is the basis of life?
With faith, hope, and love we have everything required for movement through life. Nothing else is needed. Faith gets us from Point A to Point B. Hope underpins faith. And love is the reason for both.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.