1.Why is it necessary that actions proceed from moral and spiritual vision? It is necessary that actions proceed from moral and spiritual vision because the attainment or accomplishment of our vision or goals is when we will be able to put it into action. What is in hearts and minds must be seen through our actions because grace to Apostle Paul work in the inside out. Like Apostle Paul, his ethical teaching flows from a moral vision. For him, to be a Christian is to able to do God’s will. To know the Christian codes of right conduct and behavior, we must have the moral capacity to act on them. In short, if one has moral character then one will act morally. In Colossians 3:1-2, Paul said that “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” If we are seeking after the exalted Lord Jesus Christ then it envisions our practical pursuit of spiritual goals. Then to set our minds on things above, emphasizes that we have the spiritual capacity to accomplish those spiritual goals.
For example, one of my moral visions is to be more patient enough or to control my being hot tempered against unreasonable people. In order to attain this goal of mine then I have to pray for them to become matured enough and also ask God to give me wisdom in dealing with them especially in giving responses, reactions or comments to what they say. Further, I have to befriend them and try to reach out with their needs.
All these moral and spiritual visions will be accomplished through our actions since we participated in the death and resurrection of Christ; we are now being transformed into new person by God’s grace.
2. How do the virtues of Faith, Hope and Love affect the practice and conduct of your own particular profession? These three virtues affect the practice and conduct of my profession in such a way that as a Social Worker I am committed to help the less fortunate people or people who are deprived from their own rights (esp. the indigent) in the upliftment of their lives. Because of my faith that God will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5) and that He will provide all our needs according to glorious riches in
Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:19) then I have to keep going, not to be discouraged in helping these clients. This virtue of faith drives me to hope that someday, somehow, these less fortunate people will rise from their present situation and be able to exercise their right and duties as citizenry of our country. Also to pursue my commitment, I have the duty to love these people as Jesus loved me unconditionally. There are times that it’s not easy to love especially if I encounter rude people but to be able practice my faith, I ought to do so.
3.How would you foster ethical/moral values in the following realities? a.Consumerism – buying only what I need (want vs. need). By being practical and maximizing my resources to the fullest. Also when buying something, do not be brand conscious but focus on the usefulness of that thing.
b.Mundane and Profane tendencies – not to conform to the pattern or evil desires of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind… (Romans 12:2) even if it is the trend. To stand out against the world.
c.Relativism – by respecting one’s faith and beliefs. Also being open to the perspective of others not to be so closed with what I know and how I understands different things in life but be willing to share or exchange with one’s opinion and ideas.
d.Technological Dependence – for me by choosing only what is applicable to my need and demand of times. Personal relationship should not be sacrificed just because of this high technology.
e.Economic Scarcity – being resourceful and practical and maximizing the full potential of such – (Principle of supply and demand). For example, there was food scarcity in a certain area because of typhoon devastation. Relief goods were distributed and so there were crowd falling in line. In this case, I would give priority to senior citizens, the sick, pregnant and the handicapped, though all of them have equal need.
4.How do you exercise your particular profession in the perspective of the
following Christian Gifts (Romans 12:4-11)? a.Prophecy – For me, when I was in the National Irrigation Administration as Irrigator’ Development Officer, I do a lot of field work, meetings, and trainings. I always inject the word of God in giving opening prayers in the conduct of meetings and trainings. Even when I do home visitations, during informal sessions with my clients I inspire them with the words of God especially when they open-up their problems and difficulties in life. In that way, I know I was able to exercise this gift of prophesy.
b. Practical Service – When I perform my duties and responsibilities, I do it with all my heart not to please my boss or co-worker but to please God. Since we have a multi-task function in the office before, even cleaning the comfort rooms, (when our janitor retires and our office did not hire anymore instead we are task to do additional janitorial works) I do it with gladness. I told myself that this will not degrade my profession because even Jesus washed the feet of His disciples as an example of true humility and service.
c.Teaching – In conducting seminars and trainings with the farmers, I think I do exercise this gift God has given in relation to the teaching of Christ. Like for instance, one the principles that we emphasize with our farmer clientele is the principle of sharing (e.g. there must proper sharing of irrigation water). This principle is in light with the teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ to share what we have to those who don’t have. I give instruction, rules and regulations as a way of teaching in the attainment of target/desired goals of our agency.
d.Encouragement – This gift is attached to my profession I think especially to deal with different kinds of people with different ethical behavior. I need to practice this gift in order for me to attract or influence these farmers in the performance of their duties and responsibilities as partners of irrigation development. To encourage is my “capital” to become effective IDO.
e.Almsgiving – to perform my duties and responsibilities in the office, I am
willing to give my time beyond the prescribed office hour (8 hours a day) without expecting a reward or additional compensation. I always stay in the office beyond office hours just to comply with the deadlines reports and other pertinent works or when my superior asked me to do something.
f.Position or Authority – whenever I am tasked to do something, for example, assign me to lead or spearhead a particular program/project, I always accept it without hesitation and I have to perform to the best of my ability involving my team in all aspects of the project because I believed that team approach is more effective way in accomplishing a particular activity/project.
g.Acts of Mercy – in working with my officemates and rendering service with my farmer-clientele, I do it by heart and with joy. I have to enjoy my work so that I will not get burn-out. I still remember when I do field work and do home visitations with the farmer leaders, they even open-up their problems regarding their private life and I do some counseling and offer prayers for them and this developed a closer relationship with them.
5.Why is it necessary to contextualized Pauline Ethics in your own field of expertise? By contextualizing Pauline Ethics in my own field of expertise I can share/bring the “good news” or the love of God to my clientele. By exercising the seven Christian Gifts and the various codes of Christian conduct, I believe I can help in the transformation of their lives just like what Jesus did for us. And hopefully not only our direct clients will be influenced but their family circle and the whole community as well. A concrete example of this is when I conduct training, imparting to my farmer clientele the value of self-discipline in light of distribution irrigation water, payment of irrigation fees, etc. but it does not end up with the irrigation water alone but relating it to the whole aspect of their lives. I was amazed that I have seen the impact of this with their lives through evaluation and some farmers will give feed-backs on the positive impact of the training in their lives.
6. Defend or Refute: The transformation of one’s life from vice to virtue,
and alienation to reconciliation is the byproduct of grace. I strongly agree that the transformation of one’s life from vice to virtue and alienation to reconciliation is the byproduct of grace. The transformation of our character from negative to positive is not by our own strength. If we want to change and have transformation it’s only by God’s grace. As Apostle Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 12:9, He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” He promised grace for Paul’s pain. It means therefore that in our weaknesses, God’s power is sufficient. Grace simply means God’s help, intervention and strength in our weakness. Our vices or character deficiencies can be replaced with virtues or character assets by trusting God’s grace. By participating in Christ’s work and our confession that He is our Lord and Savior means transformation of our lives so that we can live our lives in accordance to God’s will. We are alienated before because of our sinful nature which we inherited from Adam and Eve, but because God loves us so much, He gave His one and only Son to die on the cross for our sins. So with Christ death on the cross we were being reconciled to God. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved through faith- and this not from yourselves it is the gift of God- not by works, so that no one can boast.” Our salvation is by God’s grace- gift of God (undeserved gift) through faith but we have to ask (open our hearts and let Christ reign in our lives) so that we will receive this gift of salvation. We cannot earn our own salvation but it’s only by God’s grace!
7. Defend or Refute: To live through commitment and not merely by inspiration means to be faithful to God. Yes I agree to this statement. To be faithful to God means a commitment to live our lives to Him and not merely by inspiration. For Paul when he was converted in Damascus, he started to commit his life to God no matter what the cause maybe. In the practical side of it, to live our lives through commitment is living with a purpose and direction. Once we are committed to do something, we do it consistently, not mechanically but with all our mind and heart having the assurance and certainty that God will be glorified. By doing so it follows the joy and love in performing the act not by force or compulsion. On the other hand, we should not live only by mere inspiration not just to enjoy
life and be contented to what will happen. For example, one way to be faithful to God is to pray every day – giving thanks to Him for all the circumstances He brought in my life and entrusting to Him all my concerns and even my future. I should do this consistently and accept whatever God’s response. Another way of my being faithful to God is by giving my tithes and offering regularly.
8. Defend or refute: If one acts on the basis of the responsibility of love, he is free. No. I disagree because love never ceases. Love must continue to be our motivating factor to act. Love will go on eternity for God is love. 1 John 4:8, “God is love! God is eternal; therefore love is eternal as well. Paul writes, in 1 Corinthians 13:1-3, “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal… v. 13 “ And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. We will never be free because we have the debt with our fellowmen and that is the debt to love them regardless of the race, status, physical attributes, etc.
Courtney from Study Moose
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