2 March, 2016 40 days of change-Lent, 2016
Noble – A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Proverbs 31:10
In thinking of the quality of being noble, we tend to think of someone who exhibits courage, generosity, or trust – someone who shows qualities of high moral character. The world we live in applauds people who exemplify the qualities of being noble because it is the ‘right thing to do’. Often people show noble behaviour because the object is worthy of it. Mothers are often seen as noble because of the caring, giving and longsuffering they show their children and because the object is loved (their children) they naturally respond with benevolence and grace – they model nobility. Hopefully we model nobility first of all because it is the ‘right thing to do’! Luke 6:31 says, ‘Do to others as you would have them do to you’; this is often said in a paraphrased form and given the title of ‘The Golden Rule’. Morality, from a human perspective is noble and right. Many people who have no faith show nobility in their philanthropy, charity and ideals. So how is the characteristic of being noble modelled by Jesus and how is it different for a person of faith?
Jesus modelled a noble life, one of doing the right thing, at the right time, all the time. In facing his opponents with courage, he did it in the right way. In healing others, he was generous with his time. This noble life of Jesus started with love. The object of his love was mankind. He showed love to us because he wanted a relationship with us and made a way for us to be ‘right’ before a holy God. What makes his nobility special is that he showed it to a people who were not worthy. There was nothing that made us worthy of his love or kindness, but he still gave himself for us. That love exhibited courage at the cross, generosity in His gift of himself for our sin, and the integrity to love us in spite of ourselves.
We live in a constant struggle to be people of noble character. Many times we are no different from anyone else; maybe that is not all bad, because people who don’t know God still reflect at times the noble image of God. The Bible says that when God is present in our lives ‘nothing comes between us and God…our lives gradually become brighter and more beautiful as God enters us and we become more like Him’ (2 Cor. 3:18 MSG). The Holy Spirit helps us know what decisions are noble. He shows us the right way through the life of Christ as shown in the Bible, by prayer and through the wisdom of other people who know Jesus. This week, look for an opportunity to be noble – to ‘do the right thing’. It might give you an occasion to demonstrate courage, generosity or trust at work or home regardless of whether the object is perceived to be worthy or not. Hopefully it reminds you and others of what the person of Jesus has given you and that you are not alone in being noble.