We make New Year’s resolutions about money, fitness, diets, and technology. But what about personal character? And when choosing virtues to emulate, where should we start?

The Bible, Aristotle, and Aquinas aren’t bad places to start, says Jay Wood, a philosophy professor at Wheaton College, who has frequently written about this topic.

“What Christians have said about Aristotle is that he gives us good advice for how to flourish in a common human life,” said Wood. “Aristotle’s virtues do not, however, prepare us for the life to come. The great Christian teachers about virtue said we need to have the gifts that the Holy Spirit confers upon us in order to achieve the virtues.”

Just for reference, here’s Galatians 5:22–23: “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

Wood joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss the biblical basis for a virtuous life, if Aristotle’s exhortations ever clash with those of the Bible, and what it looks like to actually become a person of character.

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