Monday, June 12, 2017

One Virtue Fix It All Syndrome

A couple of weeks’ back, my pastor (Debo Omotunde) was sharing on a very important principle during a church service – that at the core of who we are is what we believe. While at it, he mentioned something that really got my attention, and made me study a little more on the subject. He called it “The one virtue fix it all syndrome”. I will explain...

There are many of us who would not believe an outright lie, especially when we know it is a lie. But we fall for half-truths easily. Half-truths are quite dangerous – often more dangerous that blatant lies, as they contain in them an element of truth.

Take a virgin for example. He or she will be suffering from the “one virtue fix it all” syndrome, if he/she believes that ALL that is needed to have a blissful marriage is to marry as a virgin! Believe it or not, there are people who thinks like this. They feel that life owes then a great marriage because they’ve kept themselves for their spouses all these several years. While virginity is a great virtue (and one that is VERY crucial at that), a great marriage is a function of several other virtues. Without great character, communication skills, conflict resolution skills, money skills, relational skills etc, your virginity alone is not likely to take you that far if a great marriage is your goal. That one virtue cannot and will not fix it all for you. 
At the core of who we are is what we believe.

Take a very honest business man or entrepreneur as another example. Honesty alone cannot give you success in business. Please do not misunderstand me. I do not and will not discount the place of honesty in doing business. It is a very critical virtue for business success, but will not by itself deliver business success to you. It is great to tell the truth and not to give bribes and all that – but what about hard-work? What about time management skills and people management skills? What about financial planning and budgeting? What about customer service skills that distinct you and make you different from the crowd / competition? If you think business has been unfair to you, just because you are the honest guy, you need to have a rethink. Honesty, plus a couple of other virtues is what brings business success.

Let me share a final example. I once met a friend whose church was not really growing, despite the fact that he was a great preacher. He was very eloquent and could hold you bound with his story telling skills. His thoughts were that once he was preaching great sermons and he focusses entirely on that, people will come to his church, This is true – but only a half truth. What about the other parts of the service? What about the flow of the service, as well as its timeliness? What about the ambience and the “fellowship” after or beyond church services? The ability to preach great sermons is a wonderful one, and very crucial to church growth, but to believe that that is the ONLY thing required to grow a church is not wise.

My point is this – there is a grave danger in a belief system that says that once I have a particular strength, that area of my life should be sorted. This singular virtue that I have and I hold dear to, should be able to sort me out. Life is not structured that way. Success in any area of life is a combination of several virtues (or skills), and progress is only guaranteed when you operate in that space. Don’t be caught in the “one virtue fix it all” syndrome.

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