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Cereal Killer  

Feasting on a breakfast of presweetened cereal—the kind kids like me love best—I bumped into a curious bit of philosophy. The back of the cereal box offered advice for your “Biggest Week Ever.” 

The box suggested we should be kind, be confident, be adventurous, and a few other “nice” things. One could hardly argue with the list.  Nothing wrong with being a dreamer, as was also suggested. 

Curiously missing from the list, though, were virtues like honesty. Or perseverance. Or integrity.

Since the audience here is young children, why not introduce them to respect as a value worthy of pursuit?Previous generations did.

I get that these virtues are not nearly as fun. And in fairness, we are talking about a cereal box here. Nobody released this as an official lifetime guide for raising kids. Still, when you sniff the cultural air, it feels almost like there’s a kill order on virtues no longer in vogue.

Have you noticed that virtues like temperance and prudence have all but disappeared from public discourse?  One web headline I saw reads, Why be honest if honesty doesn’t pay? 

Increasingly, our culture encourages niceness over integrity, agreeableness over principal.

Which leads to narrative trumping facts and tolerance over truth. 

As Christ-followers, we must resist the seduction of a lexicon of virtues that ignores biblical principles.  Instead, let us endorse what is “true and lovely” (Phil. 4:8) and “speak the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15).   All this while living “above reproach in a world full of crooked and perverse people" (Phil. 2:15).

God help us live a biblically virtuous life!





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Jon GaugerJon Gauger

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Jon Gauger Media 2016