A Christian's Habits: Chapter Three
The Habit of Duty (Part One)
“A rigid sense of duty is the noblest thing in life. It is nobler than love.”
I like surprises. They bring an opportunity to learn things that I don’t already know. I wasn’t surprised that Speer’s first “habit” was prayer. I was surprised that his second habit was duty. I can’t think of any other contemporary guide to spirituality that even broaches the subject. But Speer gives us not one, not two, but three chapters on the habit of duty. He argues that duty is the most effective and worthwhile thing in life.
Practicing the habit of duty certainly worked for him. Just listen to the following eulogy written by the wife of one of his closest friends upon his death:
To the Beloved Memory of A Righteous Man who loved God and truth above all things - a man of untarnished honor - loyal and chivalrous - gentle and strong - Modest and humble - tender and true - Pitiful to the weak - yearning after the erring - Stern to all forms of wrong and oppression, Yet most stern towards himself - Who being angry, yet sinned not. Whose highest virtues were known only to his wife, his children, his servants, and the poor. Who lived in the presence of God here, And passing through the grave and the gate of death Now liveth unto God forevermore.1
Speer’s lessons on duty have increased my commitment to making good happen in my own life as well. I encourage you, not just to read these chapters, but to study and apply them to your life, not just for your own benefit, but for the benefit of your loved ones as well.