2010-10-20

Similar Verses in Bible and Chinese Classics 5 On Christian Virtues

What are the main virtues of Christians? What is Jesus like? We have the fruit of the Spirit described in Gal 5:23-24 as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. We know the 9 descriptions can be grouped, even as one word, LOVE, as LOVE is defined by Paul in 1Co 13:4-8 Love is  patient,  kind; rejoice at righteousness and truth and bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love is  not envy nor boastful  nor arrogant nor rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful.

In Lao Zi's Dao De Jing Chapter 67, we have descriptions of 3 virtues of Love, Frugality and Putting Others First. Here is the details:

天下皆謂我道大 似不肖。夫唯大故似不肖。 若肖,久矣!其細也夫。
我有三寶 持而保之:一曰慈, 二曰儉,三曰不敢為天下先。
慈故能勇,儉故能廣,不敢為天下先 故能成器長。
今舍慈且勇,舍儉且廣,舍後且先,死矣!
夫慈以戰則勝,以守則固。天將救之 以慈衛之
My translations:
All people under the heaven think that the Great Way (of Heaven that I preach) is useless or foolish. That is because greatness seems like folly. If it is useful, in the long run, it will be narrow and small. 
I have three treasures that I keep with me all the time. The first is love. The second is frugality (thriftiness, self-control). The third is not wanting to be first in the world. Love enables me to be brave. Frugality enables me to be generous. Not wanting to be first enables me to perform well and become the leader.
The people nowadays discard love and bravery, discard frugality and generosity, discard being last and fight for first, it will surely bring forth death!
Love will bring forth victory in attack and strong protection in defense.
Heaven will save such people and protect them with love.
 The 3 virtues corresponds to the teachings of the Bible well.
  1. Love: (Love is the Greatest)
    This is very obvious. Lao Zi added bravery with it. Loving others causing us to risk our lives to save them. This is precisely what Jesus did for us. He died on the cross to save us from the punishment of our sins. In addition, Lao Zi stress that Love always win whether in active or receptive mode. God also save and protect such people that act with love.
  2. Frugality or Self-Control in spending: (Generosity is blessed)
    Because we exercise self-control in our spending, we shall have much to give away and be generous.
    Psa 37:21  The wicked borrows but does not pay back, but the righteous is generous and gives;
    Psa 37:26  He is ever lending generously, and his children become a blessing
    .
  3. Not-Seeking to be First: (Servant Leadership)
    He is always thinking about others and putting others first. He is always serving others. No wonder that such people who put others first become the rightful choice of a leader.
    Mat 23:11  The greatest among you shall be your servant.
    Mat 19:30  But many who are first will be last, and the last first
In summary:
Love bravely, be frugal to be generous and put others first are virtues for greatness.

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