Spiritually Formative Practices and Stress-Related Disorders 5 allow a person the opportunity to become aware of and respond to limita- tions, which serves to increase the robustness of the virtue across contexts. Fourth, the person gains a sense of ultimate satisfaction from the practice of the virtue. What Are Christian Virtues? Virtue is excellence in doing right acts. Vices are spiritually and morally harmful acts. The Christian church developed within a culturally Greek world. Historically, four Greek virtues were adopted by the church: justice, self-control, courage, and prudent wisdom. The church added three distinc- tive Christian virtues from the writing of Paul in 1 Corinthians 13 (i.e., faith, hope, and love). As the community of Christians developed, other Christian virtues were included. We might think of these as virtues emergent from close community interactions. They included forgiveness, humility, mutual submission, respect for authority, freedom with responsibility, social justice, loyalty, faithfulness, gratitude, hospitality, and generosity. The virtues prac- ticed in Christian communities apparently differed from those practiced in secular Greek culture. They differed in telos (or end goal) of the virtue, meth- ods by which virtues were thought to become habits of the heart, specific character traits that were considered virtuous, the priority ordering of the virtues, the outworking of virtues into daily life, and whether virtue or some- thing else was the central goal of life itself. The Seven Deadly Sins Vices were to be eschewed as being antithetical to one who has the mind of Christ. Over time, as Schimmel5 has argued, the vices became increas- ingly often summarized as seven deadly sins: pride, greed, lust, envy, glut- tony, wrath, and sloth. Among psychological accounts, Schimmel5 has argued that people are engaged in a personal, ongoing battle with sin and vice. The deadly sins have become iconic opponents people struggle against, and personal unhappiness and lack of fulfillment are products of giving in to their practice. Schimmel5 uses philosophical, religious, and cultural accounts to draw lessons about how avoiding sin and practicing virtue can result in more fulfillment and health. From Where Do Virtues Come? Virtue and vice spring from the character, which, for religious and spiri- tual people, is built up over time through spiritual formation. That formation can be built in from parenting, community, reading, belonging to a virtue- seeking community, or a relationship with God involving listening and
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