Building up virtues or tearing down sins?

It occurred to me recently that we spend too much time focusing on our sins and not nearly enough time focusing on our virtues. Perhaps focusing on how to be more virtuous would be more profitable than dwelling on how to be less of a sinner. What do you think?

Let’s use this morning as an example. I’m not a morning person by nature. I like to sleep until the very last minute, getting up with just enough time to do the morning minimums and get out the door. But I know from long experience that I should get up an hour before that time to do some spiritual readings, meditate, read the morning news and clean the kitchen before heading off on my day. Experience has shown me without fail that the extra hour more than pays off throughout that day. I’m calmer, more serene and my heart is in the right place. In contrast, when I sleep in, I’m more tense and edgy, and the added energy left at the end of the day is wasted on late-night television.

But focusing on the negative impacts has never been an adequate motivator for me to change my behavior. Meditating on my slothly (I hope that’s a word) habits makes me cranky and pushes me away from the loving spirit that I know God wants me to be. In contrast, focusing on the positive outcomes of the right start time gives me a spiritual boost every day.

So this has me wondering; would God prefer me to concentrate my energy on all of the weeds in my spiritual garden, or to nurture the flowers and vegetables? Which seed bears more fruit?

I’d love to hear what you think.


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