When you think of noble character, who do you think of? Is it a famous person? Perhaps a friend. It might be a family member or a person of influence in your community. Maybe you would choose a person of past history. Whoever you think of, one thing is sure – noble character still matters.
A Person Of Noble Character
A person of noble character is rare these days. But they are refreshing! As you interact with such a person, you find yourself encouraged. And something about them is contagious. You want to copy them.
I am reminded of an old saying, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness.” (Oscar Wilde) Here are some simple conclusions:
- Imitation can be sincere as you copy strokes of someone who has noble character.
- Although the meaning of flattery has changed over decades, in past centuries, it was often used sincerely to express applause, adulation, and tribute. Perhaps the word used today is complimentary.
- Mediocrity is something every person struggles with. The challenge is – how to avoid it.
- Greatness is something we should all aspire to. God made you with greatness. Why not discover the whole person He created you to be?
How do these qualities interface with our exploration of noble character? Well, a person of noble character is worth observing, matching strokes with, learning new action steps from, admiring their heart and motives, and being thankful for.
A person of noble character engages in specific behaviors. It doesn’t matter if they want to or if it’s convenient. They simply choose to do what should be done. This approach to life problems and decisions helps simplify the vast, complicated, sometimes confusing landscape of daily living. To simply choose what should be done helps you navigate through the weeds. It puts the honorable thing – the noble thing – right in front of you on your path (or someone else’s path). And that path is the one that gets traveled on. As hard as it may be to simply choose to do what should be done, it is extremely effective. This practice takes discipline, resolve, and determination.
The Proof Of Noble Character
So what is the proof of noble character in someone? Simply put? Daily life! As a person aiming for noble character lives their life, surrendered to Jesus, their daily life becomes the “proof.” They have decided to imitate Jesus’ life and ask Him to change them. In other words – you work and He works. You do what is in your power to do. Jesus does everything you are powerless to do. You imitate Christ’s life, trust His promises, obey His commands, and rest in His love. What does God do? He transforms you.
God knows what you need to have proof of noble character. 2 Pet. 1:3 says, “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.” Jesus also gave us the “heads up” before He ascended. “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (Jn. 16:33) How loving that He carefully instructed us ahead of time to help us succeed.
Two Examples of Proof
James, brother of Jesus, speaks directly into daily life proof. “Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by [what I do].” (Jas. 2:18) This is the guy who grew up with Jesus. Let’s think about this. As a younger brother, James saw Jesus all his life! Day in and day out. He watched Jesus with admiration – and perhaps sometimes with jealousy. What he saw were choices Jesus made each day as He simply chose to do what should be done to please God, His Father.
What he saw in his older brother’s noble character was proof enough for James to go after the same things (his part). As he worked at matching faith and deeds, God transformed his life (God’s part). James became the leader of the first church and provided proof of noble character. He was convinced because He observed – and then imitated Jesus Christ.
There’s another example of proof (among many others in Scripture). Paul, the Apostle, did the same thing. As he realized Jesus IS God’s Son, it was an easy decision to simply choose to do what should be done! In 1 Cor. 11:1, Paul says, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.”
James and Paul both figured out Jesus has noble character! Have you?
12 Qualities Of Noble Character
What does noble character look like? When you can picture and identify something, it makes it easier to aim for. Here is a list of 12 excellent qualities you and I can imitate with all our hearts. Noble character:
- Inspires confidence in and from others.
- Works to increase value in people and in situations.
- Focuses on good, never harm.
- “Selects” from life resources with eagerness to meet needs (basic needs first).
- Invests and re-invests, starting with people that are closest – and then circling outward.
- Works with energy, purpose, and a plan (no laziness).
- Looks for good deals and makes a budget work.
- Puts in a full, quality day. Every day.
- Invests available time in purposeful activities.
- Never forgets the poor.
- Always cares for family with loving, respectful interactions. Provides the best quality their budget allows – never overspending, squandering, or over-indulging. Family members know they are special and live in a royal household:
- Basic needs are met.
- Special treats are occasionally provided.
- Training to become God’s royal representative is invested in each life in the family by starting in Scripture.
- Each person is loved, valued, and nurtured. (If you did not come from such a family, Jesus can heal that hurt. He provides His own family for you. He loves you. If you have a family on this earth, start here to change history. Simply choose to do what should be done!
- Builds respectfully with all people as they interact in their community – including the global community.
Which qualities are you aiming for?
Do you have daily proof?
Would others agree with you?
Noble Character For You
Whatever your profession, personality, unique skill set, background, nationality, skin color, or perspective – these character qualities can be yours. And you can “dress for it” each day. Yes – dress the part!
That’s right. Noble character “dresses” a certain way. I’m talking about attire of conduct you literally wrap around yourself by faith and deeds.
Have you noticed you can ascertain things about another person by how they dress their personality, their approach, their demeaner, their communications? When you observe a person of noble character, it’s very attractive.
- Pleasant confidence and a cheerful heart
- Faithful instruction for others, and they receive helpful feedback.
- Alertness and watchfulness
- Pro-active, engaging interactions
- Openness to receive the gifts and contributions of others in return.
What Noble Character Does NOT Focus On
Noble character does NOT focus on goals like:
- Getting others to think a certain way about you. (Charm. Popularity. Charisma.)
- Getting others to see you a certain way. (Attractive. Intelligent. Having arrived.)
It’s not wrong to have a great reputation and to have people think well of you. Hardly! Yet, these are not the goal or focus of a person of noble character. If you are focusing on the previously-mentioned 12 excellent qualities, you will have a great reputation. People will think well of you even if they disagree with you on various issues.
On the other hand, if you focus on the 2 self-oriented goals instead of the 12 excellent qualities, you will find yourself engaging manipulation. Your reputation will become questionable as your conduct literally contributes to people not thinking well of you. Why? Because you will have become untrustworthy.
Trust always focuses on and simply chooses to do what should be done!
Fear Of The Lord
First and foremost, noble character practices the “fear of the Lord.” To say it simply – a person of noble character has a deep respect and reverence for Jesus Christ, and that high esteem for Him influences their choices, both in faith and in deeds. Such a person becomes a credible model of noble character.
As you consider your own life, ask yourself good questions to help assess where you are. Good questions deserve good, honest answers. If you apply your heart to this, you can put good practices into place that imitate Jesus and develop qualities of noble character. As a result, you will simply choose to do what should be done!
- How many of the 12 noble character qualities do you practice?
- Does your daily life give proof to noble character?
- Would others agree?
- Are you simply choosing to do what should be done?
- Why not exercise discipline, resolve, and determination to imitate the life of Jesus and be a person of noble character?
- Do you live a life that is refreshing, encouraging, and contagious?
- What do you need to put into practice – or change – to become a person of noble character?
Remember: You cannot do what only God can do. Ask Him to do His part. But, only you can do your part. Noble character still matters. Why not make it matter in your life every day – and give good proof?