This semester we are talking about intellectual character and virtues. Intellectual character involves the thought processes behind every decision we make. We have already spoken about courage, which helps you to search for and live out a life of truth. We then discussed honesty as a characteristic of how to use the truth we know. Honesty is the link that goes from our thinking to our actions. We used Abraham Lincoln’s honesty as an example. And recently, we explored intellectual tenacity—or persistence—in seeking truth and knowledge.
This week we move our series into intellectual carefulness. Intellectual carefulness is the understanding of being patient, diligent, and careful in the search for truth and knowledge. Basically, as a student, this trait is defined as being careful in your work, making sure you understand what is being taught, and taking the time to do your best!
In sixth grade science we have learned about rockets. Rockets are powerful devices used to break out of the earth’s atmosphere and gravity. They cost a lot, and one little miscalculation can cause them to malfunction, not work, or even blow up. Scientists have to be very careful to run the math correctly to make sure this technology will work perfectly. But the scientists don’t start to be careful when they start to work on rockets. These scientists started being careful in their work a long time ago when they were in school.
Students, when you have a chance to do school work, you also have a chance to practice intellectual carefulness. You have an opportunity to take your time, to do your work correctly, and to do your best.
Titus 2:7-8 says, “In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.”
This verse is saying that people will look at you to see if you mess up. As a Christian, you will be looked at, judged, and pushed to mess up. But what the author is saying is that even if you are judged and looked at every day of your life, you will be able to stand up and say, “I am doing it right,” if you are careful.
In everything you do, you can use these intellectual virtues to live a life dedicated to truth, goodness and beauty. Your opportunity starts today. Who has a test today? Who has an assignment today? Who has to learn today?
Today, let’s do a good job of understanding our lessons, let’s be careful to do our assignments correctly, and let’s take our time to do our best!