Oswald Chambers wrote, “Am I getting nobler, better, more helpful, more humble, as I get older? Am I exhibiting the life that men take knowledge of as having been with Jesus, or am I getting more self-assertive, more deliberately determined to have my own way? It is a great thing to tell yourself the truth.” The Place of Help, 1005 R
This question isn’t just for Old Folks like me, it’s for everyone, as everyone is getting older (though young-ens don’t like to think in those terms). While constant introspection isn’t good for you, regular self-examination will keep you on the right path—Jesus’ path.
Let’s look at “noble,” as most folks have lost its concept in the fog of antiquity.
no•ble adj. having, showing, or coming from personal qualities that people admire —such as honesty, generosity, courage, etc. (thanks, Mirriam-Webster dot com)
Nobility, while it’s not one of the Four Cardinal Virtues, or even one of the Seven Heavenly Virtues, is indeed a virtue. Hold on a second, I feel another definition—albeit partial—coming on:
1 a : conformity to a standard of right : morality
b : a particular moral excellence
2 : manly strength or courage : valor
3 : a commendable quality or trait : merit
I needed to define that because virtue is fast becoming an obsolete word.
Chambers’ short-list, above, is virtuous behavior and attitudes. vir•tu•ous … okay, never mind. Of course, attitudes and beliefs determine behavior. be•lief … alright already, I get the message.
Anyway, today’s popular culture, and most of those influenced by it, spurn anything smacking of morality as Victorian or Puritanical. They’d almost rather suffer mortality than live morally, and that’s because it’s suffered a totally bad rap. We can partially blame the Victorians and Puritans for that, as both categories of folks deviated from the Biblical, moral standard, presuming to judge people themselves instead of allowing God to judge them. According to God’s Word, judging people is as bad as adultery and murder.
If you’re skeptical of all this, you’re asking, “So what?” about now. The answer is, living for yourself may seem the shortest path to happiness, but it’s a path strewn with booby traps, and no one is smart enough to avoid them. Noble behavior such as helpfulness and humility make your life, and the world, a far better and more tolerable place.